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Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture$
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Jane E. Everson, Andrew Hiscock, and Stefano Jossa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266502

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266502.001.0001

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Ariosto in England in the Eighteenth Century

Ariosto in England in the Eighteenth Century

From Antipathy and Ambivalence to Enthusiasm

Chapter:
(p.147) 8 Ariosto in England in the Eighteenth Century
Source:
Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture
Author(s):

Jane E. Everson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266502.003.0008

This essay explores the changing fortunes of Ariosto’s poem in England in mid- to late eighteenth-century criticism through an examination of select passages of the Letters on Chivalry and Romance, by Bishop Richard Hurd (1762), and a close reading of the introduction, notes and commentaries appended to the two translations published in this period: that of William Huggins (1755) with facing-page text and translation into ottava rima; and that of John Hoole (1783) into English heroic couplets. While Huggins is full of enthusiasm for virtually every aspect of the Furioso, both Hurd and Hoole display a certain ambivalence towards Ariosto and his poem, reflecting the negative views of earlier, especially French, critics, the neo-classical preference for Tasso, and the influence of Dryden on the theory and practice of translation of poetry.

Keywords:   eighteenth-century criticism, Richard Hurd, William Huggins, John Hoole, romance, Tasso, Dryden

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