The English Boccaccio: A History in Books
The Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio has had a long and colourful history in English translation. This new interdisciplinary study presents the first exploration of the reception of Boccaccio;s writings in English literary culture tracing his presence from the early fifteenth century to the 1930s. Guyda Armstrong tells this story through a wide-ranging journey through time and space – from the medieval reading communities of Naples and Avignon to the English court of Henry VIII from the censorship of the Decameron to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood from the world of fine-press printing to the clandestine pornographers of 1920s New York and much more. Drawing on the disciplines of book history translation studies comparative literature and visual studies the author focuses on the book as an object examining how specific copies of manuscripts and printed books were presented to an English readership by a variety of translators. Armstrong is thereby able to reveal how the medieval text in translation is remade and re-authorized for every new generation of readers.