Orlando Innamorato

Boiardo, Matteo Maria (1440–1494), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Matteo Maria Boiardo, Count of Scandiano (1440-1494), was an Italian nobleman and writer educated in law and philosophy at the University of Ferrara. Under the patronage of the d'Este family, he held governorship positions in Reggio and Modena. Boiardo’s literary works include Petrarchan love poetry and various adaptations. His seminal work, Orlando Innamorato, was published posthumously in 1495. The epic romanticizes the character Orlando, drawn from the 11th-century French "Chanson de Roland." The narrative involves Orlando and Rinaldo’s love for Angelica and a larger conflict against invading heathen forces. Key characters include Bradamante, Rinaldo’s sister, who loves the heathen knight Ruggiero. It is prophesied that the two will wed and found the Italian House of Este. Boiardo’s work set the stage for Ariosto’s later epic and introduced significant characters that carried over into Ariosto’s narrative.

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Kline, A. S.

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