Paolo Beni : a biographical and critical study
The thesis is divided into three parts. Part One treats Beni's life and works from his birth in 1553 to 1604. His birth, his ancestry, his early education, his early careers, his Jesuit career and its aftermath are described from documentary evidence. His works of this period, most of which are inextricably connected with his life, are also briefly treated, Part Two narrates the events of the remainder of his life: his writing, his teaching, his publishing, his polemical writing, his relationship with his family, his last illness and death. Part Three provides a more ample critical assessment of his major writings after 1604, grouped according to subject-matter. Chapters are devoted to his criticism of Tasso, to his linguistic writings, to his theory and practice of poetry, history and rhetoric. The conclusion summarizes the pattern of his life and reassesses his importance. The Bibliography is divided into two parts. The first contains Beni's writings in three sections: (a) published works, with a note on the Opera omnia; (b) MS works; (c) a chronological reference list of his (mostly unpublished) letters. Part Two contains all other works consulted, MS and printed.