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In this study, the author begins with the invention of the sonnet in 13th-century Italy and traces its progress to the time of Milton, showing how the form has developed and acquired the capacity to express "lyrically the nature of the desiring self". In doing so, he aims to provide a concise critical account of the major British sonnet writers in relation to the sonnet's history. Poets covered include Petrarch, Wyatt, Sidney, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton and Dante.
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`This work is an important basic text for students of the English adaption of the form.' - Sidney Newsletter and Journal
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