Marjorie Boyle is the first theologian to write about Petrarch the poet as theologian. With her extraordinarily broad and deep knowledge of the theological, historical, and literary contexts of her subject, she presents an entirely original and revisionary account of Petrarch's literary career.
Petrarch, she argues, has been misunderstood by the division of his literary enterprise into two sides—Petrarch the poet, Petrarch the humanist reformer—studied by literary critics and historians respectively. Boyle demonstrates that the division is artificial, that the two sides are part of the same prophetic mission. Petrarch's Genius is an important book that deserves to be read by all Petrarch scholars—theologians as well as literary critics and historians.
Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle is the author of three books on Erasmus: Erasmus on Language and Method in Theology (Toronto 1977), Christian Pagan Mysteries (Toronto 1981), and Rhetoric and Reform (Harvard 1983).
"This is a brilliant, original, and extraordinarily learned book that should have a major impact on all serious future Petrarch studies."—Charles Trinkaus, author of The Poet as Philosopher