Jerusalem Delivered


Read by Thomas A. Copeland

(4.9 stars; 4 reviews)

The First Crusade provides the backdrop for a rich tapestry of political machinations, military conflicts, martial rivalries, and love stories, some of which are complicated by differences in religion. The supernatural plays a major role in the action. Partly on this account, and partly because of the multilayered, intertwined plots, the poem met with considerable contemporary criticism, so Tasso revised it radically and published the revision under a new name, La Gerusalemme Conquistata, or "Jerusalem Conquered," which has remained virtually unread, a warning to authors who pay attention to the critics.

The original poem influenced Edmund Spenser, whose unfinished epic, The Faerie Queene, is still more complicated in plot than Tasso's poem and, being an allegory, affords the supernatural an even greater share in the action. In Milton's Paradise Lost, the council in hell (first half of Book II) owes much to Tasso's similar scene in Book IV. (Someone with sufficient background in Old English might profitably compare the tirade of Satan in Book IV to the remarkably similar speech of Satan in the Anglo-Saxon Genesis.) Moreover, Milton's decision to write in English rather than in Latin, then the language of international discourse, was due in part to his visit to Tasso's patron, Giovanni Battista Manso, who advised him as he had advised Torquato Tasso before him, to dignify his native language by employing his talents in bold defiance of custom and precedent. Had Petrarch had the benefit of Manso's advice, his great epic, The Africa, might now eclipse his off-hour doodlings, the sonnets about Laura.

The text is the Gutenberg Project's version, corrected in certain places by consulting editions, also in the public domain, published in 1749, 1844, 1845, and 1901; A Dictionary of the Italian and English Languages, by Joseph Baretti (Venice, 1795); The Oxford English Dictionary; and an edition of La Gerusaleme liberata itself (Paris: Victor Masson, 1836). (Summary by Thomas A. Copeland) (14 hr 39 min)

Chapters

01 - Book 1 41:20 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
02 - Book 2 48:21 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
03 - Book 3 34:49 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
04 - Book 4 44:56 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
05 - Book 5 40:07 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
06 - Book 6 52:58 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
07 - Book 7 51:55 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
08 - Book 8 38:01 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
09 - Book 9 45:49 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
10 - Book 10 35:18 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
11 - Book 11 39:09 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
12 - Book 12 49:38 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
13 - Book 13 37:55 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
14 - Book 14 37:30 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
15 - Book 15 30:58 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
16 -Book 16 35:12 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
17 - Book 17 44:52 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
18 - Book 18 47:13 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
19 - Book 19 59:43 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
20 - Book 20 1:03:37 Read by Thomas A. Copeland