Item description for Orlando Innamorato/Orlando in Love by Matteo Maria Boiardo & Charles Stanley Ross...
Like Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, Boiardo's chivalric stories of lords and ladies first entertained the culturally innovative court of Ferrara in the Italian Renaissance. Inventive, humorous, inexhaustible, the story recounts Orlando's love-stricken pursuit of "the fairest of her Sex, Angelica" (in Milton's terms) through a fairyland that combines the military valors of Charlemagne's knights and their famous horses with the enchantments of King Arthur's court.
Today it seems more than ever appropriate to offer a new, unabridged edition of Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, the first Renaissance epic about the common customs of, and the conflicts between, Christian Europe and Islam. Having extensively revised his earlier translation for general readers, Charles Ross has added headings and helpful summaries to Boiardo's cantos. Tenses have been regularized, and terms of gender and religion have been updated, but not so much as to block the reader's encounter with how Boiardo once viewed the world.
"Neglect of Italian romances robs us of a whole species of pleasure and narrows our very conception of literature. It is as if a man left out Homer, or Elizabethan drama, or the novel. For like these, the romantic epic of Italy is one of the great trophies of the European genius: a genuine kind, not to be replaced by any other, and illustrated by an extremely copious and brilliant production. It is one of the successes, the undisputed achievements." ---C. S. Lewis
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Reviews - What do customers think about Orlando Innamorato/Orlando in Love?
Italian Epic Jun 27, 2008
Hello this site people. this site People! Feel my love. Feel my joy. Feel my fire. This is not so much a review of "Orlando Innamorato", than it is an overview of Italian Renaissance epic. I hope this site lets me do it. I have written a couple professors, but now I want to share it with the world. I had heard of Ariosto and Torquato Tasso, but was fascinated to learn there is an entire shelf full of these Italian epics. And now in recent years there has been a spate of translations of some of the other epics: of course Boiardo and Luigi Pulci's "Morgante". And I recently discovered on this site an edition published in the "I Tatti Library" of Teofilo Folengo's "Baldus". Interestingly, I Tatti. . is Italian authors who wrote in Latin; so apparently Folengo's epic is more Latinate. Moreover, another epic writer is Giangiorgio Trissino with his "Italia Liberata. .". Poor Trissino has the dubious distinction of being one of the most maligned authors known. After Trissino, another writer who shared a similar fate is T. Tasso's father, Bernardo Tasso and his "Amadigi". And further, another writer is Luigi Alamanni, who apparently wrote two epics. There is an entry for Alamanni in "THe New Arthurian Encyclopedia"; this entry is vague as to the quality of the epics. Another writer is Giraldi Cinthio. Cinthio has some notoriety, because he wrote Italian Novelle in the tradition of Boccaccio. Moreover, he wrote all the major genres of the day: epic, again novelle, drama, and even criticism. And furthermore, a main point of this letter is to consider the following; is there perhaps an undiscovered masterpiece among the lot of them? Or might some of the maligned authors be reevaluated? Finally, see A.B. Giamatti's "The Earthly Paradise and the Renaissance Epic". I think that is where I got this list, he mentiions others too; treating them harshly. Also see: "The Cambridge History of Italian Literature". As a footnote many people do not know that Boccaccio wrote a full length epic; "Teseida". Can it be bulked with these other Renaissance epics? And as to its quality? And has it ever been translated into English?-(No) Thank You
It's the only game in town, but it could use some editing May 11, 2007
Look--if you're going to read the Innamorato (in verse and not abridged), this is what you're going to buy, like it or not. Oh, but you *will* like it. The verse is fine so far as it goes, and it's probably best that Ross avoids rhyme on the whole (rhyming maybe some 5% of the time), especially since he uses the tetrameter as his line, which can be fairly restricting.
However, this particular edition of the translation has more errors than you'll be used to seeing in a book. Probably 90% of the errors seem to be a result of the editing of the manuscript to regularize tense (you'll see remnants of the old edition that weren't excised when the new bits were put in); the other 10% are mere typographical errors.
The errors don't really detract from the enjoyment of being able to read Boiardo, but if I ever read the Innamorato again, I'll probably pencil in corrections. If you think you won't like stumbling on such errors now and then (they really are few, when you think about it), I'd suggest trying to locate an older (1980's) edition of the text.
An impressive new edition of a neglected *classic* Jan 31, 2004
One of the undisputed achievements in the shamefully short history of translating the Italian epic romances into English is Ross' translation of Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato." This translation was originally published (hardcover only) by the University of California Press in its Biblioteca Italiana series. Then, Oxford University Press published an abridged paperback version in its World's Classics series. Now, Parlor Press offers both a complete paperback and an e-book version. Note that the Parlor Press edition is an *unabridged* edition that incorporates the maps of the Oxford edition, as well as offering a newly revised translation.
Readers in English are now, possibly for the first time in history, adequately equipped to read the major Italian epic romances in complete, readable, even admirable English translations:
* For Pulci's "Morgante," we have Tusiani's massive translation, generously offered by Indiana University Press as a handsome, unabridged paperback.
* For Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso," we have the choice of Waldman's eminently readable prose translation, in one volume in Oxford UP's World's Classics series, or Barbara Reynolds' popular two-volume verse translation in the Penguin Classics series.
* For Tasso's "Jerusalem Delivered," we have Esolen's recent, critically acclaimed translation, published by Johns Hopkins UP.
* For Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato," we of course have this outstanding contribution from Ross.
I can only express my gratitude to these scholar-translators, whose indefatigable work in translating these Carolingian epics has given me access to a wonderfully rewarding, indisputably major piece of Western literature. I understand that Ross is currently working on a translation of Statius' epic poem "The Thebaid," to be published by Johns Hopkins, and that Esolen is contemplating undertaking a new translation of Camoes' "The Lusiads," which is quite possibly the most neglected *major* epic in Western literature. I look forward to both these editions, and again -- thanks.
Very good, full translation available in Fall 2003 Jul 10, 2003
Parlorpress.com is going to put out a new and full translation in the Fall of 2003. I like this abridged edition for my pocket version. I enjoyed starting from this book to see if the tales also had anything to do with Estensi/Ferarra history...and find it was written as a pleasant pastime for the recovering Duke Ercole...'read slowly on a sunny summer day in a room full of open windows...' Charles Ross did wonderful research. I have seen commentary by C.S. Lewis on Boiardo and the epic tale and read Fortune and Romance essays edited by JoAnne Cavallo. But C.Ross is excellent for a short history of the time, as well. For independent background on the D'Estensi (D'Este family) and interaction from Feltrino Boiardo (grandfather) to Matteo Maria, these texts are also good: Edmund Gardner's Dukes and Poets of Ferarra; Ferarra the Style of Renaissance Depotism by Werner L. Gundersheimer and Leon Battista Alberti: Master Builder by Anthony Grafton (not much in this title about Boiardo: I used it to confirm or reference related information on Ferarra). The Boiardo information from Edmund Gardner's book is also still cited by literature scholars, from what I've seen.
A Great Book Jun 8, 2000
Orlando Innamorato is an absolutely beautiful story. It is in the same style as Orlando Furioso (by Ariosto), which is its sequel. We follow Charlemagne's paladins as they traverse the world, pagan and Christian, looking for adventure, fame, and especially love. The Saracen princess Angelica has captured the heart of the brave and chivalrous Orlando and he will do anything to earn her love. The only problem is that she remains uninterested. It also seems that nearly every knight in the Christian and Saracen world desires her too! The Christians and Muslims are almost constantly at war, so this is another obstacle in the way of poor, lovesick Orlando. With this premise, Boiardo narrates a story of epic proportions that is enchanting, funny, exciting, and always beautiful. He combines irony, allegory, romance, chivalry and much more to create a masterpiece. The stories contained are similar to the Arthurian legends, but are, in my opinion, livelier and more exciting. I agree with C.S. Lewis when he wrote: "Our oblivion of these poets (i.e. Boiardo and Ariosto) is much to be regretted...because it robs us of a whole species of pleasures and narrows our very conception of literature."
This edition is beautifully rendered into verse, but it is abridged. The complete poetic text of the story is not present. However, the translator always summarizes (in narrative form) those parts he leaves out. There is also a useful introduction and extremely helpful annotations that explain difficult passages in the story. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Orlando Furioso or Pulci's Morgante.