Bandello, Matteo, 1485-1561, Italian storywriter, a Dominican priest. He is famous for his novellas, short tales in imitation of Boccaccio, that provided themes for several 17th-century plays. Often coarse, they have considerable vitality and occasional tragic force. His version of an earlier Romeo and Juliet is probably the source of Shakespeare's play. An edition of his novellas was translated into English by Sir Geoffrey Fenton in 1567 and reprinted in 1924.