Alfieri's second treatise, The Prince and Letters, is as timely today as when first published in 1788. Vehemently rejecting Voltaire's contention that the greatest periods of literature and art are all associated with the name of some reigning patron, such as Augustus or Louis XIV, he maintains that only in perfect freedom can supreme poetry be born. His fundamental principles still apply, for the relation between the writer and the state has become increasingly complex. This is the first version in english. The translation keeps close to the original text, but renders it in smooth, clear English. The scholarship is of the highest quality, showing an intimate knowledge of Alfieri's life and of the political trends and culture currents of his age.