Leonora (The History of), an episode in the novel of Joseph Andrews, by Fielding (1742).

Leonora [d’Este], sister of Alfonso II. reigning duke of Ferrara. The poet Tasso conceived a violent passion for this princess, but “she knew it not or viewed it with disdain.” Leonora never married, but lived with her eldest sister Lauretta duchess of Urbino, who was separated from her husband. The episode of Sophronia and Olindo (Jerusalem Delivered, ii.) is based on this love incident. The description of Sophronia is that of Leonora, and her ignorance of Olindo’s love points to the poet’s unregarded devotion.

But thou…shalt have
One-half the laurel which o’ershades my grave…
Yes Lenora, it shall be our fate
To be entwined for ever,—but too late.
   —Byron: The Lament of Tasso (1817).

Leonora de Guzman, the “favourite” of Alfonso XI. of Castile. Ferdinando, not knowing that she was the king’s mistress, fell in love with her; and Alfonso, to reward Ferdinando’s services, gave her to him in marriage. No sooner was this done, than the bridegroom learned the character of his bride; rejected her with scorn, and became a monk. Leonora became a noviciate in the same convent, obtained her husband’s forgiveness, and died.—Donizetti La Favorita (an opera, 1842).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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