Table of Poets in Part I [introduction to Part I of The Early Italian Poets]

Alternately titled: Poets Chiefly Before Dante

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1861
Genre: literary commentary


See the editorial commentary for the 1861 edition as a whole.


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the The Early Italian Poets text.

Scholarly Commentary


Although these notes are now quite dated in a scholarly point of view, they retain our interest for the light they shed on DGR's own views about the poets and the circumstances in which they wrote. The same judgment would apply to DGR's critical comments on Dante and the poets of his closest circle, although in that case—because the scholarly tradition was already well developed—DGR's discussion is much more reliable.

The three most important critical sections in these notes are the ones devoted to Fazio degli Uberti, Cecco Angiolieri, and Franco Sacchetti. In each case one notes DGR's interest in those lines of poetry that concern themselves with the mundane world, whether treated in a high style or otherwise. It is this set of interests that also drives him to translate so many of the sonnets of Cecco Angiolieri.

Textual History: Composition

DGR probably wrote these notes on the poets fairly late—probably in late 1860 or in early or mid-1861, when he was putting the whole book of translations together. Not many manuscripts dealing with these notes survive (see commentary for the introductory essay on “Dante and his Circle”), but two fragments, one at Duke and the other in the museum of the South African National Gallery, are interesting survivals.

Printing History

First published in 1861 in The Early Italian Poets; it was reprinted in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 3p-1861.raw.xml