(1474 - 1533)
The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto spent twenty-five years composing his masterpiece, Orlando Furioso. He revised it through three editions, reading it aloud to anyone who would listen, encouraging his friends to mark up the manuscript with their own suggested changes. In 1516 he dedicated the first edition of Furioso to Cardinal Ippolito, whom he had served since 1503 as a courtier, assisting him on diplomatic and military missions. Along with Mateo Maria Boiardo and Torquato Tasso, Ariosto was a leading practitioner of the narrative epic in the first age of print, combining the “chanson de geste” with the chivalric romance.