Contemporary 3/4 green calf, spine gilt. This is an especially attractive copy, beautifully bound about 1920 by Eric Wilfred Dickens, bookbinder, (born 24/9/1888) of 46 Mordaunt St. Stockwell, London. The spine has a leather label and five raised bands & is densely tooled in gilt. This copy was used as a sample of Mr Dickens bookbinding skill & was purchased by us directly from the bookbinders grandson in its original book cabinet (that may now be seen in our bookshop). The legacy of the great Italian poet Torquato Tasso, once considered almost a peer of Dante, is colossal. Although he is no more than a footnote today, he was once wildly popular, quoted by philosophers, emulated by poets, and a source of inspiration to painters and composers. Even his sad and tormented life was an obsession for the romantics, inspiring a play by Goethe, a poem by Byron, a painting by Delacroix and a symphonic study by Liszt. The characters who romped across the pages of Tasso's 1575 masterpiece, the epic poem "Gerusalemme Liberata," ("Jerusalem Delivered") live and breathe still, in paintings by Nicolas Poussin and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who captured them redolent with sexuality and pink-hued youth. And from the earliest days of opera in the 17th century, composers have turned to Tasso's intertwined tales of romance and heroism. Handel, Haydn, Rossini, even Dvorak wrote operas based on Tasso's amorous young things: the knights Rinaldo and Tancred, and their paramours Armida and Clorinda. If you've been to a museum, or to a concert of Italian madrigals, you know them well, even if you've never heard of the poet whose former fame is as astonishing as his current oblivion.