Pierre de Ronsard

Cassandra

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The sonnet sequence Les Amours de Cassandre, first published in 1552, established Pierre de Ronsard as the outstanding French poet of his time. He was mentioned approvingly by Montaigne, admired throughout Europe, and fêted by the French Crown and foreign monarchs such as Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. Based to some degree on a real relationship with an identifiable woman, Cassandra Salviati, the sequence combines the passionate narrative of the poet's love for an unattainable beauty with explorations of classical myth, the work of literary forebears such as Homer, Ovid and Petrarch, and questions about the very nature of love, literary creation, human existence and the forces that drive the universe. It is also deeply grounded in the natural landscapes of Ronsard's native Vendô;me. Clive Lawrence's translation, the first complete translation of the sequence into English, captures the range and freshness of the writer known in his lifetime as Poet of Princes, Prince of Poets'.
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175 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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