The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini: The Five Foot Shelf of Classics, Vol. XXXI (in 51 Volumes)

Cosimo, Inc.
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Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University's longest-serving president. Also known as "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf," it represented Eliot's belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf. Volume XXXI is considered one of the greatest autobiographies ever written, by Italian BENVENUTO CELLINI (1500-1571). Literally a Renaissance man, making a name for himself as an artist, soldier, and musician-his works are still readily found all over European museums and public places-he is perhaps most famous for his life story. Highly readable and hugely entertaining, it is replete with tales of illicit romance, murder, angelic visions, his own poisoning, and many other salacious affairs.
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About the author

Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence, Italy, on November 1, 1500. He became a celebrated sculptor, goldsmith, and author, but his fierce temper caused him to be exiled and imprisoned for numerous crimes, the most serious being murder. Among Cellini's best work as a sculptor was a gold saltcellar made for Francis I of France, and a colossal bronze statue titled Perseus and Medusa. Other significant works include a bust of Cosimo I de Medici and Ganymede on the Eagle, both of which are now housed in the Bargello Museum in Florence. Cellini is best known for his memoirs, The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, which he wrote from 1558 to 1562 and was published after his death. He died on February 13, 1571.

John Addington Symonds was born in Bristol on 5 October 1840. Symonds attended first a private tutor's in Clifton, then to Harrow, then to Balliol and later to Magdalen. In 1860 he took a first in " Mods," and won the Newdigate with a poem on The Escorial; in 1862 he was placed in the first class in Literae Humaniores, and in the following year was winner of the Chancellor's English Essay. In 1862 he had been elected to an open fellowship at Magdalen. The strain of study unfortunately proved too great for him, and, immediately after his election to a fellowship, his health broke down, and he was obliged to seek rest in Switzerland. Symonds was plagued by ill health, and he would die of tuberculosis at the age of 52. During his last term at Oxford, in 1863 his health collapsed altogether, partly due to stress caused by the spread of rumours that he was having a homosexual affair with one of the students. His academic career was at an end, and for three years he was unable to do any work. He thought he might study law, but in 1865 it was discovered that his left lung was diseased, and after a complete rest it was decided that he could never follow a profession, but would have to go to a warmer, climate and become a writer. He spent the rest of his years between Switzerland and Venice, Italy. For many years Symonds's energy was wasted by trying to suppress his homosexuality. Essentially he wished to make homosexuality acceptable, both to himself and to society by idealizing it in his works. It is for his studies in the history of art that Symonds has been most highly praised and remembered, as well as his Rennaissance work. John Addington Symonds died at Rome on April 8, 1893.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cosimo, Inc.
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Published on
Jan 1, 2010
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Pages
460
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ISBN
9781616401061
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Sculpture & Installation
Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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