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Orlando Furioso

Lodovico Ariosto

Book Overview: 

Charlemagne's nephew Orlando (AKA Roland) is driven insane by the infidelity of his beloved Angelica. Angelica's relationship with him and others loosely unifies multiple story lines to produce a rich tapestry of romance, fictionalized history, and pure fantasy. This romance-epic is a sequel to the less distinguished and unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato, by Mattteo Maria Boiardo.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Here beds are seen adorned with silk and gold;
  Nor of partition aught is spied or wall:
  For these, and floor beneath, throughout that hold,
  Are hid by curtains and by carpets all.
  Now here, now there, returns Orlando bold,
  Nor yet can glad his eyes, in bower or hall,
  With the appearance of the royal maid,
  Or the foul thief by whom she was conveyed.

  This while, as here and there in fruitless pain
  He moves, oppressed with thought and trouble sore,
  Gradasso, Brandimart, and him of Spain,
  Ferrau, he finds, with Sacripant and more;
  Who ever toiling, like himself, in vain
  Above, that building, and beneath explore,
  And as they wander, curse with one accord
  The malice of t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I am in love with this book, and I have no idea why everybody isn't reading it all the time. It is a massively fun tale dealing with the exploits of the knights of Charlemagne. It moves incredibly quickly, seamlessly weaves together dozens of terrific stories, and gives the reader all the fulfillmen

[2 novembre 2012]
Appena comprata questa edizione Bur mi dicevo: ma perché in una collezione di classici con nuovi commenti ristampano questo di Emilio Bigi che compie proprio ora trent'anni? Ora che lo sto leggendo capisco il perché.

[5 settembre 2017]
Una delle cose che non sopporto è quando dicono c

Not sure about this translation; I read it in Sir John Harington's, 1591, assigned to him by the the First Elizabeth for his witty account of his invention, the water closet or water "jakes": the Metamorphosis of Ajax-pron. a Jakes. (The Elizabethan Brits called a toilet by a French name, whereas th

This poem is about the siege of Paris by the Mauritanians and the Saracens. Christian King Charlemagne has to confront the African Agramand and his Mauritanian allies, who come from Spain. But this is not the only theme that dominates the poet's narrative.

Love is the greatest force that drives the t

"No soy yo, no lo soy? El que parezco:
Orlando ya está muerto y enterrado;
su ingratísima amada lo ha matado,
y faltando a su fe, lo ha sometido.
Yo soy su errante espíritu, que vaga
por este oscuro infierno, atormentado,
para dar con su sombra un escarmiento
a cuantos en Amor ponen su anhelo."

Cuando escuc


A colui che di fantasy va ghiotto
è offerto questo mio consiglio scaltro:
di gettar gli young adults giù di sotto,
che fotocopia sono l'un dell'altro,
e leggere il Furioso in un sol botto,
di fantasia stracolmo e in più, peraltro,
di fate e negromanti sì ripieno
da risultargli certo mol

A few years ago when I read Irving Stone's amazing work The Agony And The Ecstasy about the life of Michelangelo, the poet Ludovico Ariosto was mentioned somewhere as being a dinner guest of the Pope of the day. With my typical curiosity, I wondered if Ariosto was a real person (he was); what did he

I read Orlando Furioso many years ago, but I still remember the good feeling as I went through Ludovico Ariosto's pages. A fantastic and unusual parody of chivalry.
“Nature made him, and then broke the mold.”

“Ah, how I rue that what I could have done I did not do!”
Highly recommended!

Perhaps it speaks more to the age I live in than that of the author, but I'm always surprised to find a reasonable, rational mind on the other end of the pen. Though Ariosto's unusual work is full of prejudice and idealism, it is constantly shifting, so that now one side seems right, and now the oth

If I told you that you should read an early sixteenth century Italian verse epic whose primary themes are courtly love and chivalry, would you do it? What if I told you there's a new translation which abridges the massive original to a mere 700 pages? Too good to be true?

I know what you're thinking:

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