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A Chivalric Romance

With an Introduction by Valeria Finucci
Translated by Julia Kisacky


A Chivalric Romance

With an Introduction by Valeria Finucci
Translated by Julia Kisacky
The first original chivalric poem written by an Italian woman, Floridoro imbues a strong feminist ethos into a hypermasculine genre. Dotted with the usual characteristics—dark forests, illusory palaces, enchanted islands, seductive sorceresses—Floridoro is the story of the two greatest knights of a bygone age: the handsome Floridoro, who risks everything for love, and the beautiful Risamante, who helps women in distress while on a quest for her inheritance. Throughout, Moderata Fonte (1555–92) vehemently defends women’s capacity to rival male prowess in traditionally male-dominated spheres. And her open criticism of women’s lack of education is echoed in the plights of various female characters who must depend on unreliable men.

First published in 1581, Floridoro remains a vivacious and inventive narrative by a singular poet.

448 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2006

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages


Women's Studies


"The comprehensive and engaging introduction . . . gives a complete background, not only in historical and literary terms but also with regard to gender and the role of women, to this remarkable work. . . . A thorough, informative, and enticing treatment of this epic poem."

Nathalie Hester | Renaissance Quarterly

"The translation flows easily; it is precise yet agile and it is well suited for scholarly as well as leisurely reading. . . . An excellent edition and translation, confirming the claiber of the texts included in the series."

Maria Galli Stampino | Sixteenth Century Journal

A fine addition to the . . . series. It is accessible enough to use in the classroom, and scholarly enough to include in any research library."

Alison Taufer | Medieval Review

Table of Contents


Series Editors’ Introduction

Moderata Fonte and the Genre of Women’s Chivalric Romances 1

Volume Editors’ Bibliography

Note on Translation


Floridoro: A Chivalric Romance

Lettera autografa/ Dedicatory Letter

Prefatory Sonnets / Prefatory Sonnets

Canto 1

Canto 2

Canto 3

Canto 4

Canto 5

Canto 6

Canto 7

Canto 8

Canto 9

Canto 10

Canto 11

Canto 12

Canto 13


Appendix: Cantos 1 and 2 and excerpts from Cantos 4, 8, 11, and 13 in Italian         



Series Editors’ Bibliography


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