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Francesco Petrarca, Petrarch to speakers of English, 1304-1374, was an Italian poet who grew up and spent a good bit of his life in and around Avignon, France. There, he claimed, he saw for the first time a beautiful, God-fearing, and married woman named Laura in church on Good Friday in 1327. By the end of 1337, he had assembled his first collection of lyric poems in Italian, and in 1341 was crowned poet laureate in Rome. Petrarch spent the next thirty years or so completing his masterpiece,...See more