Drawings and Illustrations by Gustave Dore
Gustave Dore illustrated a new English translation of the Italian epic poem (published in its final form in 1532), Orlando Furioso (literally Mad Orlando), which tells the story of the Christian warrior Orlando and his struggle against the Moslem Saracens. Interwoven into the plot are many fantastical elements including trips to the Moon and a fantastical Japan.
It is a story of brave deeds and battles but also features some interesting romantic plots including Orlando's unrequited love for the pagan princess Angelina and the Christian female warrior Bradamente and the Saracen Ruggerio.
As usual, Dore's illustrations display a dynamic vitality and lifelike realism.
The crusades are the setting for this Reneissance epic of adventure and daring exploits, but the events and characters are purely mythical. It is a shame that this story is bot better known in the English speaking world. But Dore's illustrations for a Victorian era translation of the book give new life to this ancient tale.