Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Secret Book” as Want to Read:
My Secret Book
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Secret Book

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Written by one of the greatest poets of all time, My Secret Book, now in its first English translation, is a profound and deeply personal account of inner suffering and mental anguish. Deeply troubled by his struggle—and failure—to achieve spiritual perfection, Petrarch, considered the forefather of Italian humanism, sought catharsis in the writing of a “secret book.” Only ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Hesperus Press (first published 1378)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Secret Book, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Secret Book

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 20, 2011 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Petrarch was the leader and spiritual father of the Italian Renaissance, the revival of classical antiquity and the modern humanist movement. Living entirely in the 14th century, he paved the way for subsequent thinkers, liberating them from medieval scholasticism and a perspective primarily otherworldly.

In this edition there is first an introduction by Carol E. Quillen. She initially discusses humanism itself in the context of Petrarch’s time and then provides an overview of the present text it
Feb 06, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be required reading. Perhaps it will not speak to everyone, but some may find it a more soothing balm and helpful guide than most of the self-help, feel-good schlock that's peddled nowadays.
Dec 01, 2015 Yani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un diálogo interesante entre Petrarca (él se construye como personaje) y San Agustín sobre distintos puntos, sobre todo filosóficos y morales. Me olvidé de que lo había leído, así que, evidentemente, por más que me pareció bueno no fue algo memorable.
Jul 23, 2011 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La noire mélancolie qui frappa François Pétrarque lui fit rédiger cet ouvrage dans lequel il se livre à une introspection au moyen d'un dialogue avec un Saint Augustin imaginaire, heureusement plus philosophe et moins superstitieux que l'original. Alors que le poète se laisse aller à l'abattement, Augustin le secoue en évoquant de la sagesse des œuvres des philosophes et de poètes de l'antiquité, en particulier de Ciceron et de ses Tusculanes, mais aussi en citant Platon, Aristote et surtout l'i ...more
Adamo Lanna
Aug 25, 2010 Adamo Lanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiografie, 300
Oh bello questo. Una bella scoperta. Cioè è chiaro che già sapevo del Secretum, solo pensavo che fosse palloso e non l'avevo mai letto, invecce no. Sant'Agostino non te la manda a dire, Petrarca non rompe le palle lui e la sua Laura e alla fine ne esce un compendio di filosofia tipo "cicerone for dummies" che è spettacolare.
Sarà che mi immedesimo, sarà che Petrarca è vissuto qui la strada accanto, sarà che queste pippe me le faccio anche io sempre, insomma 5 stelle sicuro.
CX Dillhunt
Mar 21, 2009 CX Dillhunt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
In the style of Cicero & Plato, a conversation (it's subtitled "The Private Conflict of My Thoughts") between Francesco Petrarca & Aurelius Augustinus aka St. Augustine of (Franesco has his Laura as Dante has his Beatrice!), life, death, procrastination, writing, reason...eventually going from argumentation to instruction set for life...much humor mixed with a very serious discussion...the forward by Germaine Greer is a gem...
Aug 25, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
NOT my favorite book. He made many good points, but there was much in this book that troubled me. I found the bits about needing to concentrate on death in order to set one's gaze on the eternal rather bizarre and extreme. More on this later. There was a bit too much Plato in here. . .
Cassandra Leonard
Jun 23, 2013 Cassandra Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of my Western Civ class. It definitely gets inside the head of Petrarch and helps to become more in touch with his character while entering a brief history of his life. Definitely an easy reader.
Oct 24, 2008 Anney rated it it was amazing
I've read this several times and it always puts me in deep reflection on my life. It's pretty amazing.
Bill rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2012
Eric rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2009
Stefania Sorbara
Stefania Sorbara rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2015
Tatev Soghomonyan
Tatev Soghomonyan rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2016
Annilen Repaso
Annilen Repaso rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2013
Stephanie rated it really liked it
May 24, 2013
Denes Poszmik
Denes Poszmik rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2012
Wilson Boardman
Wilson Boardman rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2014
Anneli rated it liked it
May 01, 2014
Shawn Bird
Shawn Bird rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2011
Alexa Price
Alexa Price rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2011
Erika rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2011
Veera rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2013
K rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2013
Mose rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2015
must-have rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2016
Pavel Skigin
Pavel Skigin rated it liked it
May 09, 2013
Monica Calabritto
Monica Calabritto rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2013
Bill rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2008
Fran rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2011
bdm rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: The Strife of Love in a Dream
  • Dante in Love
  • Jerusalem Delivered
  • The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta
  • The Merchant of Prato: Daily Life in a Medieval Italian City
  • The Last Generation of the Roman Republic
  • Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories
  • A Favourite of the Gods
  • Through the Night
  • Introduction to Manuscript Studies
  • The Book of the Courtier
  • The Bridge of Beyond
  • To Asmara
  • The Vintage Mencken
  • Michelangelo
  • L'amicizia
  • Isabella of Castile: The First Renaissance Queen
  • The Alexiad
Francesco Petrarca known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often popularly called the "father of humanism". Based on Petrarch's works, and to a lesser extent those of Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio, Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language, later endorsed by the Accademi ...more
More about Francesco Petrarca...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »