Ariosto retells the eighth century

Lodovico Ariosto (1474–1533)
Orlando furioso
In Lione: appresso Bastiano di Bartholomeo Honorati,1556

In Orlando furioso, the struggles of the Christian emperor Charlemagne with Muslim forces in late eighth and early ninth-century Europe serve as a backdrop to a richly fantastical tale of the knight Orlando, in which sub-plots and diversions are continually interlaced with and superimposed upon the underlying narrative. This complex structure mirrors a correspondingly multitudinous array of sources, both classical and medieval. The poem’s importance as an exemplar of the transmission of stories lies in its unparalleled influence on later generations of writers, artists and musicians, from Spenser, Lope de Vega, Handel and Vivaldi to Eugène Delacroix, Italo Calvino and Salman Rushdie. This copy is from the remarkable library of books related to Michel de Montaigne, assembled by Gilbert de Botton and given to the University Library in 2008 by his family.

Montaigne.1.5.6, p. 228

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