Innamoramento di Ruggeretto

This poem, divided into 46 cantos, is a little-known continuation of the much more famous work by Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso (first edition printed in 1516). Following Ariosto, poems in ottava rima recounting the adventures of knights and their ladies were a hugely popular print phenomenon in sixteenth-century Italy.

The inscription at the top of the page has been damaged by page-cropping (probably while the book was being rebound), but it would originally have said ‘Venetijs. Tendit in ardua Virtus. 1554’. This tells us that it was bought in Venice in 1554. Hoby does not explicitly record a visit to Venice in his journal during 1554. However, given that he was staying in nearby Padua for much of the period August to December that year, it is likely that he made one or more visits during this period, but did not record the fact in his journal.

Innamoramento di Ruggeretto figliuolo di Ruggero Re di Bulgaria (Venice: Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari, 1554), title page. Audley End, on loan from a private collection.

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