This interdisciplinary study examines the literary, artistic and biographical afterlives in England of the great sixteenth-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso, from before his death to the end of the nineteenth century. Focusing on the lasting impact of his once famous poem Gerusalemme liberata across a spectrum of arts, it aims to stimulate a revival of interest in a neglected poetic masterpiece and its author, some fifty years after the last account of the poet in English. The influence of Tasso's poem is traced and analysed in the literary works of Spenser, Milton, Shakespeare and Daniel, and consideration is also given to its impact on the visual and musical arts in England, in works by Van Dyck, Poussin and Handel. A second strand focuses on English responses to Tasso's troubled life in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, exemplified in Byron's memorable impersonation of the poet's voice in The Lament of Tasso. -- .
Jason Lawrence is Senior Lecturer in English (1500-1700) at the University of Hull -- .
Introduction: 'I dote on Tasso' 1 'A l'apparir de la belta novella / nasce un bisbiglio e 'l guardo ognun v'intende': the arrival of Gerusalemme liberata in Elizabethan England 2 'A place pickt out by choyce of best alyue, / That natures worke by art can imitate': the Bowre of Blisse and Armida's garden revisited 3 Gerusalemme liberata and the visual arts in England 4 'What enchanting Sound salutes my Ear?': Gerusalemme liberata and the early development of opera in England 5 'There are as many Tassos as there are Hamlets': representations of Tasso's life in England Conclusion: the emergence of Tasso's psychobiography Bibliography Index -- .