Building a Library with Poetry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter uses the first Italian bibliography – Anton Francesco Doni’s La libraria (1550) – to reflect on the process of compiling literary history, and analyse approaches and attitudes to poets and poetry in the Cinquecento. It considers the degree to which current critical interest in the concept of social communities in poetry, especially in relation to Petrarchism, correspond to Cinquecento concerns. Petrarchism is ubiquitous in Doni’s work, and especially visible in praise for Tuscan and eminent models like Pietro Bembo, Iacopo Sannazaro and Vittoria Colonna, but it coexists alongside poets who overtly reject the Tuscan model and/or satirise the obsessive fascination with a narrow set of rules for writing lyrics. Listing authors by name rather than genre emphasises the extent to which most Cinquecento writers composed in a variety of modes and reveals a more expansive conceptualisation of authorship not yet constrained by Romantic notions of individual genius.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA History of Poetry in Italy: 1200-1600
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Bibliography
  • Anton Francesco Doni
  • Early Modern Italian print culture
  • Early Modern publishing history
  • Gabriele Giolito
  • History of Information Management
  • Italian Literary History
  • Petrarchism


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