Wise retells Boccaccio's tale with grace, but strips it of much of its irony by certain changes--for instance, having...

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THE BLACK FALCON: A Tale from the Decameron

Wise retells Boccaccio's tale with grace, but strips it of much of its irony by certain changes--for instance, having protagonist Federigo's father, not Federigo himself, squander the family fortune; and making ""Lady Elena"" unaware that he loves her when she requests his one valuable possession, the falcon, to gratify her dying son's wish and thus save his life. Since Federigo has just served the lady the falcon (she asked for a meal and his larder was bare), this is the story's crux--their mutual dismay leads to their marriage--but only in the original is this venture financed by the son's death. Barlow's paintings handsomely depict the 14th-century Italian setting; still, it is a disservice to manipulate the work of so important an author, altering its meaning and undermining its historical authenticity.

Pub Date: March 15, 1990

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel/Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1990