The hundreds of illuminated miniatures found in the Cantigas de Santa Maria, sponsored by King Alfonso X (1252–84), reveal many vistas of daily life in thirteenth century Spain.
No other source provides such an encyclopedic view of all classes of medieval European society, from kings and popes to the lowest peasants. Men and women are seen farming, hunting, on pilgrimage, watching bullfights, in gambling dens, making love, tending silkworms, eating, cooking, and writing poetry, to name only a few of the human activities represented here.
Combining keen observation of detail with years of experience in the field, John Keller and ...Read More
In the tradition of Colin Fletcher’s The Man Who Walked Through Time and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, Edward F. Stanton has written a quietly beautiful and engrossing account of his own pilgrimage. Road of Stars to Santiago is a personal story of his journey along what has been called “the premier cultural route of Europe.”
“I undertook a five-hundred-mile walk along the ancient Camino de Santiago, from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostella in northwest Spain, the supposed burial site of the apostle St. James the Elder, and beyond to Finisterre, Land’s End on the Atlantic coast....Read More
In 1489 Johan Hurus printed the first collection of fables in Spain, Lavida del Ysopetconsusfabulas hystoriadas. Illustrated with nearly 200 woodcuts, this work quickly became the most-read book in Spain, beloved of both children and adults. Reprinted many times in the next three centuries and carried to the New World, it brought to Spanish letters a cornucopia of Aesopic fables, oriental apologues, and folktales that were borrowed by such writers as Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and especially the fabulists Iriarte and Samaniego. John Keller and Clark Keating now present the first English translation of this important literary work.
The Latin ...Read More
The masterpieces of medieval Spanish literature have come to be known and loved by Hispanists, and more recently by others throughout the world. But the brilliant illuminations with which the original manuscripts were illustrated have remained almost totally unknown on the shelves of the great European libraries. To redress this woeful neglect, two noted scholars here present a generous selection from this great visual treasury including many examples never before reproduced.
John E. Keller and Richard P. Kinkade have chosen five representative works, dating from the mid-thirteenth century to the late fifteenth, to illustrate the richness of early Spanish narrative ...Read More
Brief narratives,” or medieval precursors to the modern short story, are compositions couched in the form of a tale of reasonable short length. They began with writings in Latin and, eventually, made their way into the vernacular languages of Europe. They include the fable, the apologue, the exemplum, the saint’s life, the miracle, the biography, the adventure tale, the romance, the jest, and the anecdote, among others. In Spain, the oldest extant brief narratives in written form are in verse and date from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The earliest examples include La vida de Santa Maria Egipciaca ...Read More
Don Juan Manuel, nephew of King Alfonso X, The Wise, knew well the appeal of exempla (moralized tales), which he believed should entertain if they were to provide ways and means for solving life's problems. His fourteenth-century book, known as El Conde lucanor, is considered by many to be the purest Spanish prose before the immortal Don Quixote of Cervantes written two centuries later. He found inspiration for his tales in classical and eastern literatures, Spanish history, and folklore. His stories are not translations, but are his retelling of some of the best stories in existence. The translation succeeds in ...Read More