Tales of Firenzuola

by Agnolo Firenzuola

THE TALES “were written in 1523-24 on the Boccaccian premise of a ‘lieta brigata’ of young ladies and gentlemen gathered in a Tuscan villa to tell each other, in turn, stories dealing with love, fortune, fate, virtù..... The stories themselves, in their variety and immediacy, offer an insight into sixteenth-century Italian society and its concerns. As such the edition can be a useful tool in undergraduate classes on Renaissance culture, offering an opportunity for pleasant readings and instructive discussions....

The present edition retains the 1889 Preface and supplements it by a new introduction and a bibliography — not to mention 14 very clear and fascinating illustrations..... The mere fact that, once again, it makes Firenzuola’s short stories available in English is cause enough for rejoicing.”

(Italian Quarterly)

“...a handsome and worthy addition to the Italica Press series of Italian literature in translation.”

(Italica, AATI)

Italica Press has published three books on the [Italian novella] tradition. One is a competent translation of the most famous and most brilliant of the novelle sciolte — longish novelle that were not part of collections —the story, called Il grasso legnaiuolo [The Fat Woodworker]. Written by Antonio Manetti in the mid-fifteenth century, it commemorates a cunning practical joke engineered by the architect and builder Filippo Brunelleschi. Renaissance Comic Tales of Love, Treachery, and Revenge, edited and translated by Valerie Martone and Robert L. Martone, includes a wide-ranging collection of stories. Tales of Firenzuola is a reprinting of a well-regarded Victorian translation of the novelle of this important figure.

— James H. McGregor, University of Georgia
Speculum 80.1 (January 2005): 171

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