Le Rime di M. Agnolo Firenzuola Fiorentino.

FIRENZUOLA Agnolo (1549)


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Firenzuola's vernacular poetry in praise of sausages.

Woodcut printers device on title page and final leaf. Historiated woodcut initials. Italic and Roman type. 

8vo (148 x 95mm). 135, [1]ff. Mottled sheepskin, spine gilt, with five raised bands and red morocco label in second compartment (joints cracked with some loss, headcaps chipped, covers scuffed and damaged, extremities worn).

Florence, Appresso Bernardo Giunti, 

First edition of the poetry of churchman and writer Agnolo Firenzuola (1493-1543), one of several first editions of Firenzuola's works to be published by the Giunta press in the 1540s after the poet's death. Writing exclusively in the vernacular, Firenzuola favoured a simplistic model for the Italian language that incorporated its spoken characteristics, and not just the high literary style of the fourteenth century. Alongside his poetry, Firenzuola is best known for his licentious Ragionamenti, a dialogue between prostitutes; his contribution to the questione della lingua debates; and a translation of Apuleius' Asino d'Oro. 

Particularly enjoyable amongst Firenzuola's Rime is his Bernesque Canzone in Lode della Salsiccia, or 'Song in Praise of Sausage', in which sausages, particularly those from Bologna, are the 'food of poets' and 'more perfect than any other food.' In writing such verse Firenzuola was participating in a growing genre of satirical, food-related writing in Italy at the time (see, for example, Francesco Berni's tribute to peaches). Some have attributed it to Lasca, rather than Firenzuola; however, it was this verse in particular that prompted the New Monthly Magazine in 1832 to give the poet the pithy epithet of 'the sausage-serving abbot of Prato', and to revel in his 'carnivorous devotion.' 

Ownership inscription on front free endpaper, 'Guglielmo Jackson'. Cataloguers' notes on front paste-down and verso of final leaf under colophon. 

Occasional foxing and browning. Trimmed close at head. 

Adams, F503. BMSTC (Italian), 254. Pettas, 292. Gamba 456. CNCE 19198. 'Italian Humorous Poetry', New Monthly Magazine, 34 (January, 1832), 59. 


Stock Code: 228083

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