Le lettere [...] Utili non solamente alle persone private, ma anco a Secretarij de Principi per le materie che vi si trattano, & per la maniera dello scrivere. Lequali per giudicio de gli intendenti sono le più belle, & correnti dell'altre. Di nuovo ristampate, rivedute & corrette con molta diligenza

Autore: TASSO, Bernardo (1493-1569)

Tipografo: [Giovanni] Griffio

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1597

8vo. (8), 284 leaves. *8, A-Z8, Aa-Mm8, Nn4. Leaf ?8 is a blank. With the printer's device on the title-page. Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine and lower edge, ties.

Basso, p. 151; Edit 16, CNCE 35451; Quondam, p. 312.


SECOND GRIFFIO EDITION (the first appeared in 1591), a reprint of the Venetian edition issued by Jacopo Sansovino in 1570, which follows the first Valgrisi edition of 1549, containing book I and II, with the only differences that the second dedication to Ferrante Sanseverino is omitted and that the letters are not numbered.


Bernardo Tasso was born in Bergamo. After a sojourn in Paris, from 1528 to 1532 he was at the service of Renée of France at the Ferrara court, where he had the possibility to meet Ludovico Ariosto and Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio. In 1532 he left Ferrara and entered the service of the prince of Salerno, Ferrante Sanseverino, of whom he became secretary, while Vincenzo Martelli was mayor of the palace. For this prince he undertook several diplomatic missions: in 1535 he was at the siege of Tunis, in 1537 in Genoa to persuade Andrea Doria to join the imperial cause, in 1539 in Spain, and in 1540 in Flanders.

In the period from 1541 to 1544 he lived with his wife Porzia de Rossi in Sorrento. Their son, the future poet Torquato Tasso, was born there in 1544. In the same year, during the War of Monferrato, after the defeat of Ceresole, Tasso was sent to Brussels. He came back to Naples in 1545. In 1547 his patron, the Prince of Salerno, came into collision with the Spanish government of Naples. Despite a journey to Augsburg in 1548 to obtain the Emperor's forgiveness, Tasso and Sanseverino were sent into exile in 1552. For many years they were forced to move from court to court, until 1558 when Tasso definitely departed from Sanseverino.

He then served various noblemen, among them duke Guidobaldo II della Rovere, in whose court his son Torquato was educated. When Bernardo was serving the duke of Milan, Guglielmo Gonzaga, he was appointed governor of Ostiglia. Later, when a post at the court of Urbino was offered to him in 1557, Bernardo gladly accepted it. In the following years he also travelled to Venice to superintend the printing of his works, among them the famous epic poem Amadigi (1560) and the second volume of his letters (1560). Bernardo Tasso died in Ostiglia, then part of the Duchy of Mantua (cf. E. Williamson, Bernardo Tasso, Roma, 1951, passim).