Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Cavallo, Jo Ann

Born in Sorrento on March 11, 1544, Torquato Tasso was the third child of Porzia de' Rossi and Bernardo Tasso, after a first son who died in infancy, and a daughter Cornelia. A poet and a man of letters, Bernardo was principally occupied as secretary to the Prince of Salerno, Ferrante Sanseverino, one of the foremost figures in the Kingdom of Naples, at the time under the rule of the Spanish empire. His occupation was prominently as a playwright / dramatist, essayist, literary critic, historian, and poet. He lived from 1544 to 1595 and was an active writer from 1559 until his death. Tasso's master poem appeared in 1581 with the title Gerusalemme Liberata, an echo of Giangiorgio Trissino's earlier Italia liberata dai Goti (Italy Liberated from the Goths, 1547-1548). Although it became immensely popular, with seven editions printed within six months, he received none of the profits from its sale.


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March 24, 2015