Boiardo: Orlando Innamorato
Having completed our newly-translated, richly-illustrated, and rhymed edition of Ariosto's 'Orlando Furioso', our next project for 2022 is already underway, namely a complete modern rhymed translation of Matteo Boiardo's 'Orlando Innamorato: Orlando in Love'. I have reached Canto 16 (of 69) and we intend to publish cantos in batches at irregular intervals. The first eight cantos are now available here. The translation is again in 'ottava rima' to mirror the original verse structure. Boiardo, writing for the courts of Borso and Ercole d'Este created the imaginative world which Ariosto later developed for the court of Ippolito. One of Boiardo's creative innovations was to set his 'epic' in an earlier age, that of Charlemagne, working supposedly from the chronicle of the historical Archbishop Turpin, and adapting material from the epic romances of the Medieval period such as the Song of Roland. The characters he created, the knights Orlando, Rinaldo, Brandimarte and Ruggiero, and the warrior-maidens Bradamante and Marfisa, etc. gave Ariosto much of the material for his skilful continuation of the tale. The Boiardo, as far as we know, has not been translated in a complete rhymed translation in English, and Boiardo has lacked the attention he merits for his poetry; his attractive telling of the story; his wealth of characters; his attention to geographical, historical and social detail; and his continuous and fertile plot development. Anyone who has enjoyed reading Ariosto will welcome the prequel, where many of the same characters perform their daring deeds amidst a world of chivalry, enchantment, love and warfare.
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