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Rime di Francesco Petrarca.
Firenze: Successori le Monnier,, 1867. Con L'Interpretazione di Giacomo Leopardi. Migliorata in varj luoghi la lezione del testo, e aggiuntovi nuove osservazioni per cura dell'editore. Sesta impressione. Octavo. Contemporary brown half morocco (175 x 110 mm), spine gilt in compartments with titles direct, marbled sides with gilt rule, red speckled edges. Title page stub-mounted, presumably a cancel incorporating fictive impression statement to encourage sales. Spine darkened, extremities rubbed, endpapers spotted, crack to rear hinge, front blank with small splits at the top and bottom margin, good condition. Florentine edition of Petrarch's poetry inscribed by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1883) to his daughter, "Edith Longfellow with her father's love. January 30. 1876" on the first blank. The text is peppered with her own pencil annotations, in English and Italian. One such comments on Petrarch's line "in sul mio primo giovenile errore" with her wistful "22 years old" (though Edith had in fact just turned 23 at the time of the inscription). The inscription commemorates an education in and enjoyment of Italian poetry shared between father and daughter. After the tragic death of wife and mother Fanny, who accidentally set herself on fire and died of her burns in 1861, Longfellow found himself unable to compose poetry and turned his energies to the ambitious translation of Dante's Divina Commedia. Longfellow was the first American to translate the work, which was published in 1867. Edith was seven years old when her mother died, and her father found connection with his daughter through teaching her to read Italian poetry with him. This was described in the Biographical Sketch of Mrs Richard Henry Dana (Edith Longfellow) read by Mrs Mary Isabella Gozzaldi before the Cambridge Historical Society on 24 October 1916: "Before her marriage Edith Longfellow read Dante in the original with her father. This she carried out conscientiously for at least two years, enjoying the association with her father in his work, and he presented to her a volume of Petrarch inscribed in memory of those readings" (Cambridge Historical Society Publications XI, 55). Edith's husband Richard Dana was the author of the memoir Two Years Before the Mast (1840). The rear endpaper has a notecard tipped in with five lines of Petrarch written out in an unidentified hand. Poignantly, the lines concern the death of Petrarch's Laura.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-12-08           Check availability:      Biblio    

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