Ariosto (1884/5) Orlando Furioso – Trans. Rose – 2 vol. Poem w/ Steel Engravings


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Ariosto, Ludovico. The Orlando Furioso translated into English verse, from the Italian of Ludovico Aristo, with notes by William Stewart Rose. New Edition. Illustrated with engravings on steel. In two volumes (London: George Bell  and Sons, 1884/5)

Duodecimo. Two Volumes (Vol. 1: xvi, 528 pages; Vol. 2: [vi], 537 pages). Hardcover. Half leather with marbled boards. Spine stamped in gilt.

Condition: VG except for Ex-Libris stamp on title pages: “H. M. Hannah’s Library, Scranton, PA”.

Provenance: H. M. Hannah (1842-1909) was a politician, attorney and book collector in Scranton, PA.

Ludovico Ariosto, (born September 8, 1474, Reggio Emilia, duchy of Modena [Italy]—died July 6, 1533, Ferrara), Italian poet remembered for his epic poem Orlando furioso (1516), which is generally regarded as the finest expression of the literary tendencies and spiritual attitudes of the Italian Renaissance.

Orlando furioso is an original continuation of Boiardo’s poem Orlando innamorato. Its hero is Orlando, whose name is the Italian form of Roland. Orlando furioso consists of a number of episodes derived from the epics, romances, and heroic poetry of the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. The poem, however, achieves homogeneity by the author’s skill and economy in handling the various episodes. Despite complete disregard of unity of action (which was to become compulsory in the second half of the century), it is possible to identify three principal nuclei around which the various stories are grouped: Orlando’s unrequited love for Angelica, which makes him go mad (furioso); the war between Christians (led by Charlemagne) and Saracens (led by Agramante) near Paris; and the secondary love story of Ruggiero and Bradamante. The first is the most important, particularly in the first part of the poem; the second represents the epic background to the whole narrative; and the third is merely introduced as a literary courtesy, since the Este family was supposed to owe its origin to the union of the two lovers. The main unifying element, however, is the personality of Ariosto himself, who confers his own refined spirituality on all his characters. Sensual love is the prevailing sentiment, but it is tempered by the author’s ironical attitude and artistic detachment. Upon its publication in 1516, Orlando furioso enjoyed immediate popularity throughout Europe, and it was to influence greatly the literature of the Renaissance. –