A very close and clear description of Dante's style in those lyric poems, which can be dated with reasonable confidence. Dr Boyde explains the nature and objective of his analyses in the substantial introduction which does not assume any previous knowledge of the poems or of modern stylistic theory. He has three principal aims: first, to relate the style of the poems to medieval rhetorical teaching; secondly, to assess the degree of Dante's stylistic originality by comparison with the style of earlier medieval authors; and thirdly, to provide an accurate detailed description of the many developments in Dante's style over a period of twenty years. Close attention is paid throughout to the frequency and distribution of the features described, and there is abundant quotation of examples. The book will have a considerable theoretical interest to all those concerned with the analysis of the style of literature from the past.