Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 49

Matteo Bandello - Biography

novelle inspired stories

Clergyman and writer of novelle or tales, born in Castelnuovo Scrivia, N Italy. A Dominican friar, he served the Sforza, Gonzaga, and Farnese families before moving to France, where he became Bishop of Agen in 1550. He wrote 214 short stories, Novelle (1554–73), characterized by an innovative open structure and variety of topics inspired by history, contemporary events, and tradition. This combination ensured the Novelle's great popularity. The stories inspired, among others, Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night), Shelley and Stendhal (I Cenci), Lope de Vega, and Byron.

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