Lucid and compelling throughout, Cynthia N. Nazarian's reconceptualization of the Petrarchan mode in romantic verse from Italy, France, and England during the long Renaissance is a significant contribution to our knowledge of a central dimension of lyric poetry in the early modern period, one that should productively reshape our understanding of works even beyond those that she treats in her text. Love's Wounds begins with the relatively simple and uncontroversial premise that Petrarch and his many imitators adopted striking “metaphors of torment and vulnerability” (3)—images that Nazarian contends become more bloody and violent as the Petrarchan tradition modulates and evolves—and then ventures to ask “what their postures of suffering and vulnerability allowed these poets to do” (2). For her innovative answer, keenly elaborated through the expertly sensitive close readings that fill and enrich the book, Nazarian coins the term “countersovereignty” in contending that Petrarchan poets “adapted the rhetoric of powerless...

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