The Abencerraje

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Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788498168426

SKU: 9788498975451 Category: Tags: , ,

El Abencerraje is a story by Antonio de Villegas inspired by a famous romance in the sixteenth century. It is about the History of Abencerraje and the beautiful Jarifa.
The summary of events is as follows:

  • Rodrigo leaves his castle one night to patrol with his soldiers and capture a prisoner: Abindarraez, who was going to see Jarifa, his beloved.
  • Rodrigo lets him go after hearing his promise to return in three days to be his prisoner again.
  • Abindarraez accepts, gratefully, and keeps his word by returning accompanied by Jarifa, whom he has married without the consent of her father.
  • Seeing Abindarraez’s honesty, Don Rodrigo writes to the King of Granada so that he can convince Jarifa’s father to forgive them, and allows the two lovers to return to their homeland.

An important difference between this version of El Abencerraje and other versions of the same story is that Antonio de Villegas constructs his novel by entertaining it in three letters:

  • Letter from Rodrigo de Narváez, warden of Alora, to the King of Granada
  • Letter from Abencerraje Abindarraez, to the warden of Alora
  • Letter from the warden of Alora, to the beautiful Jarifa

The love story between Abindarraez and Jarifa was included, from 1561, in The Seven Books of Diana, by Jorge de Montemayor.
Lope de Vega also composed inspired by the Abencerraje his comedy El remedio en la desdicha, published by Linkgua editions. Here is an excerpt from the book:

The story says that in the time of the infante Don Fernando, who won Antequera, was a knight who was called Rodrigo de Narváez, notable in virtue, and made of arms. This fighting against Moors did things of much effort: and particularly in that enterprise, and war of Antequera made deeds worthy of perpetual memory: but that this our Spain has in so little the effort (because it is so natural and ordinary) that it seems to him, that what can be done is little: not like those Romans, and Greeks, that the man who ventured to die once in a lifetime was made immortal in his writings, and moved in the stars. So did this gentleman so much in the service of his law, and of his king, that after winning the town, he made him warden of it: so that since he had been so much part in ganalla he would be in defendella. He also made him warden of Alora, so that he was in charge of both forces, dividing the time in both parts, and always going to the greatest need. The most ordinary resided in Alora, and there he had fifty squires sons of the king’s gages, for the defense and security of the force: and this number was never lacking, like the immortals of King Darius, who in dying one, put another in his place. They all had so much faith and strength in the virtue of their captain, that no enterprise was difficult for them: and thus they did not cease to offend their enemies, and defend themselves against them, and in all the skirmishes that came in they came out victorious, in which they gained honor and profit, from which they were always rich.

Antonio de Villegas

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