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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

(p.147) 8 Ariosto in England in the Eighteenth Century
Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture

Jane E. Everson

British Academy

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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