Italian Renaissance Tales

ISBN : 9780198794967

Anthony Mortimer
432 ページ
129 x 196 mm
Oxford World's Classics
  • Translated from the most recent and reliable scholarly texts
  • An introduction identifies the salient characteristics of the novella tradition, relates the development of that tradition to changing social and political circumstances, and provides a short account of the influence of the Italian novella on English literature
  • Introduces thirty-nine stories by nineteen authors, many of them translated for the first time
  • With Explanatory notes and select bibliography
  • An Appendix provides biographical information on all nineteen authors

'Thus she was decapitated, and this was the end to which she was brought by her unbridled lusts.'
For over two centuries after Boccaccio's groundbreaking Decameron, the Italian novella exercised a crucial influence over European prose fiction. With thirty-nine stories by nineteen authors, many translated for the first time, this anthology presents tales from the whole genre and period. Here we meet a rich cast of humble peasants and shrewd craftsmen, frustrated wives, libidinous friars, ill-fated lovers, and vengeful nobles. These works had a considerable impact in English, and the selection includes tales that have provided sources for Chaucer, Shakespeare, Webster, Marston, Dryden, Byron and Keats.
The typical novella is situated in a precise time and place and features people who either existed historically or are presumed to have done so. The subject-matter, whether ribald or sentimental, comic or tragic, often reflects the social and economic conditions of its age and thus the novella has been seen as a crucial stage in the development of fictional realism and the emergence of the novel.


A Note on the Text and Acknowledgements
Select Bibliography

Giovanni Boccaccio
The Conversion of Abraham
Alibech and Rustico
Tancredi and Ghismonda
The Pot of Basil
Madonna Filippa's Defence
Peronella and the Jar
Patient Griselda

Ser Giovanni Fiorentino
Giannetto and the Lady of Belmont

Franco Sacchetti
Piero Brandani's Son
A Sermon on Usury

Giovanni Gherardi da Prato
The Tale of Catellina

Gentile Sermini
Anselmo Salimbeni and Angelica Montanini

Antonio Manetti
The Fat Woodworker

Masuccio Salernitano
Saint Griffin's Drawers
The Castilian Student

Sabbadino degli Arienti
The Priest and the Friar

Niccolò Machiavelli
A Fable

Giovan Francesco Straparola
Margherita Spolatina

Luigi da Porto
The Story of Two Noble Lovers

Giovanni Brevio
Madonna Lisabetta

Matteo Bandello
The Countess of Challant
Giulia of Gazzuolo
Timbreo and Fenicia
The Duchess of Amalfi
Niccolò d'Este

Anton Francesco Grazzini
Fazio the Goldsmith
Lazzero and Gabriello

Pietro Fortini
Antonio Angelini

Cristoforo Armeno
The Metamorphoses of an Emperor

Giovambattista Giraldi Cinzio
The Moorish Captain
Nigella and the Doctor
Iuriste and Epitia

Giambattista Basile
Sun, Moon, and Talia

Francesco Pona
Explanatory Notes
Notes on the Authors


Anthony Mortimer is Emeritus Professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and also taught for many years at the University of Geneva. In addition to his scholarly work on English Renaissance Poetry, he has produced a series of verse translations: Dante (the Vita Nuova), Cavalcanti, Petrarch, Michelangelo, Angelus Silesius, Villon, Baudelaire, and The Song of Roland. His version of Luigi Pirandello's Three Plays was published in the Oxford World's Classics in 2014.