As if genius is not enough, a lyric poet has got to be in love. Pierre de Ronsard was still serving his literary apprenticeship in 1545 when he met Cassandre Salviati at a ball in the Château de Blois. Around fourteen-years-old at that time, she was the daughter of a Florentine banker who helped to finance the reign of Francis I. She married a local nobleman a year later, but that was not an obstacle to the conventions of courtly love. She was Ronsard’s muse, a source of inspiration like Beatrice was for Dante and Laura for Petrarch.
John Bidwell's blog
In 2010 the Morgan presented an exhibition on the cultural history of gardens in Europe and America, Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design, curated by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and others. The catalogue touches briefly on a question still debated by garden historians: what are the origins of the English style of landscape design?
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fézensac was the arch-aesthete of the Decadent era. Titled, rich, perfectly groomed, and exquisitely attired, he turned himself into a work of art as precious as the poetry he composed and the bibelots he collected.
Harington’s translation of Orlando Furioso is one of the great masterworks of English literature. It made this sprawling epic poem easily accessible in court circles where there was a constant demand for Ariosto’s stories of sieges, battles, quests, enchantments, damsels in distress, and feats of chivalry. Harington dedicated it to Queen Elizabeth, who is said to have commanded him to perform the task of translating nearly forty thousand lines of Italian verse as a punishment for having shown one of the ribald episodes to the ladies of the court.
While cataloging the latest gifts to the Carter Burden Collection of American Literature, we noticed and admired the prepublication hoopla for Go Set a Watchman, an earlier version of Harper Lee’s Civil Rights Era classic To Kill a Mockingbird.
Willem van Branteghem, Pomarium mysticum tum novorum tum veterum fructuum, animae Christianae. Antwerp: Willem Vorsterman, 1535. Purchased on the Curt F. Bühler Fund, 2014.
Ottavio Farnese (1598–1643). Quaestiones definitae ex triplici philosophia, rationali, naturali, morali, in Parmensi Academia publicè triduum disputatae. Parma: Anteo Viotti, 1613. Purchased on the L. C. Harper Fund, 2012.
Russell Maret. Specimens of Diverse Characters. [New York, N.Y.]: Russell Maret, 2011. Purchased on the Henry S. Morgan Fund, 2012.
George Bickham (1684?-1758?). The Universal Penman. London: Robert Sayer, [ca. 1760]. Purchased on the Henry S. Morgan Fund, 2012.
Homer. L’Iliade, traduction nouvelle [par Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance]. A Paris: Chez Barbou, Moutard, Ruault, 1776. Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2011.