I am currently researching my honours thesis and, right now, it is about Boccaccio as a biographer. i am hoping to weigh in on the “when does the Renaissance begin?” debate. Boccaccio is a very famous Florentine writer and scholar of the late 14th century. He writes biographies of both Petrarch and Dante as well as two smaller, more didactic works, based on mostly classical figures. I am working on The Fates of Illustrious Men, but that isn’t important for this short rant.
I just finished reading an chapter of a very interesting book, Mapping Lives The Uses of Biography (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002) by Richard Holmes entitled “Proper Study?” He ends this short essay into the possibilites of postgraduate studies in biography with a joking set of commandments for those embarking in the field. I hereby plop #9 down for you:
Thou shalt be immodestly Proud of it [biography], as it is something that the English have given to the World, like cricket, parliament, and the Full Cooked Breakfast (18).
LIKE HELL THEY DID!