Hainsworth, Peter (R. J.)

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HAINSWORTH, Peter (R. J.)

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, Oxford OX2 6QA, England.

CAREER:

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, Oxford, England, professor.

WRITINGS:

(Editor and author of notes, with T. Gwynfor Griffith) Selected Poems of Petrarch, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1971.

(Editor, with Michael Caesar) Writers and Society in Contemporary Italy: A Collection of Essays, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.

Petrarch the Poet: An Introduction to the "Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta," Routledge (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor and contributor, with V. Lucchesi, C. Roaf, David Robey, and J. R. Woodhouse) The Languages of Literature in Renaissance Italy, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor, with David Robey) The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS:

Peter Hainsworth is an Oxford University professor who specializes in Italian literature of the Renaissance period. He has coedited several books on the subject, including the comprehensive The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature, and is the author of Petrarch the Poet: An Introduction to the "Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta." The latter work, which evaluates what is considered by many modern academics to be among the most significant poetic works in Western literature, has been highly praised by critics, who noted that it is the first scholarly work of its kind to place Petrarch's work within the context of his entire literary output. The book is also a thorough critical analysis of Petrarch's style, structure, and themes.

According to the Hainsworth, one goal of Petrarch the Poet is to introduce readers to Italian poetry. Jennifer Petrie wrote in Medium Aevum that Hainsworth's study is a helpful discussion of Petrarch's concern for what the author calls "the nature of poetry in the post-Dantesque era." Choice contributor C. Kleinhenz praised the work for, among other assets, the author's ability to discuss "with great critical acumen some of the basic complex themes of the collection." Janet L. Smarr concluded in Renaissance Quarterly that "all in all the book provides a good array of basic information in clear form for the student and enough insightful analysis of detail for the scholar."

The Languages of Literature in Renaissance Italy is a collection of essays coedited by Hainsworth. The book also contains one of Hainsworth's essays on Petrarch, which Brian Richardson described as "a subtle examination of Petrarch's use of metaphor" in a Notes and Queries review. According to John Barnes in the Times Literary Supplement, the essays examine the "language and style [of Italian writers] from the age of Dante to the High Renaissance."

Hainsworth also coedited The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature, which contains 2,400 entries covering "almost every writer of reputation active over a period of about nine centuries, together with a generous number of General Entries," as Masolino D'Amico noted in another Times Literary Supplement review. D'Amico declared this reference source to be "as complete, reliable and useful as any such enterprise could be."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, February, 1989, C. Kleinhenz, review of Petrarch the Poet: An Introduction to the "Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta," p. 945.

Medium Aevum, spring, 1990, Jennifer Petrie, review of Petrarch the Poet, pp. 170-171.

Modern Language Review, April, 1991, Conor Fahy, review of The Languages of Literature in Renaissance Italy, pp. 487-488.

Notes and Queries, June, 1989, Brian Richardson, review of The Languages of Literature in Renaissance Italy, pp. 230-231.

Renaissance Quarterly, autumn, 1989, Janet L. Smarr, review of Petrarch the Poet, pp. 546-549.

Times Literary Supplement, September 23, 1988, John Barnes, "Ancient and Modern Revised," review of The Languages of Literature in Renaissance Italy, p. 1055; August 18, 1989, Rachel Jacoff, "Doing and Undoing," p. 900; January 31, 2003, Masolino D'Amico, "Dante to Fellini," review of The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature, pp. 10-11.*