Wilkins and the theory of the “nine forms” of the Rvf

Ernest Hatch Wilkins in a very influential essay that first appeared in 1948 envisioned different reference compilations and nine “forms” of the Rvf. The first indication of Petrarch's intention to collect his poems can be found in the Vat. lat. 3196 (Codice degli abbozzi) and dates back to November 4, 1336. This earliest idea of the Rvf is named by Wilkins as “First reference collection” and can be conceived as the first step toward the definition of Petrarch's project.  It included 25 poems transcribed by Petrarch in 1336-1338 (Wilkins 81-92). All these poems were sonnets except for the first 89 verses of canzone 23; 22 sonnets were Petrarch's and 2 were from two correspondents (Pietro Dietisalvi and Geri Gianfigliazzi); 17 out of 22 sonnets were later included in the Rvf with the following numbers: 34-36, 41-46, 49, 58, 60, 64, 69, 77, 78, 179. 


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