In this massive, meticulously researched work Trinkaus makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Italian humanists and the Christian Renaissance in Italy. . . . The author argues persuasively that the Italian humanists drew their inspiration more from the church fathers than from the pagan ancients . . . the most comprehensive and most important study of Italian humanism to appear in English. It is a mine of information, offering, among other things, detailed analyses of texts which have been ignored even by Italian scholars.
Charles Trinkaus (1911-1999) was emeritus professor of history at the University of Michigan. He published a number of books, including The Poet as Philosopher: Petrarch and the Formation of Renaissance Consciousness and The Scope of Renaissance Humanity.