Love and Friendship in Times of War

This translation has been in the works for an entire year, in spite of its short length. We’re proud to present it to you in Kindle now, with a dual language paperback soon to follow and epub versions later this year.

Please see the first book trailer here.

A heartwarming tale of love and friendship in a time when no one could imagine anything but war.

This is a classic story of the exotic landscape of medieval Spain, written about 1551, in a new, easy to read English translation. Abindarráez is so in love with beautiful Jarifa that when he is taken prisoner by Rodrigo de Narváez, he asks to be freed for only two days so that he can marry her. What happens next shows that love and friendship are stronger than war, even during the final stages of the the Reconquest of Spain.

This edition includes:
• A never-before-published translation of El Abencerraje
• Useful explanatory notes
• A short, original introductory essay

The translation tries to transmit all the meaning and charm of the original while untangling its complex syntax. Don’t miss the opportunity to read this enchanting book in English!

Endorsed by Independent Judge of Niceness Stanley Coombs.

This book is participating in the Kindle Select promotions, so please borrow it. It’s no cost to you! It will also become free to everyone on selected days during the next three months, so watch for those announcements.

Otherwise, get it at the most reasonable price possible any time: Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle España | Kindle Deutschland | Kindle France | Kindle Italia

¡Gran Anuncio! Big Announcement! Kobo!

¡Por fin! ¡Todos nuestros libros ahora están disponibles de Kobo! Nuestra página de Libros ahora tiene un vínculo activo para cada libro para puedas ver el libro que deseas directamente en el sitio de Kobo.

¿Sabías que cuando compras un libro de Kobo, usted puede usarlo en cualquier aparato de e-lectura que usa el formato de epub? ¡Es decir, todo el mundo menos  Amazon Kindle! Usted no tiene que poseer ningún dispositivo de Kobo para usar estos maravillosos libros. Pero los aparatos de Kobo son los más amados por los usuarios alrededor del mundo. ¿Por qué no querrías uno?

At last! All of our titles are now available from Kobo e-books! Our Titles page now has a live link to each book so you can go directly to the Kobo site.

Did you know that when you buy a Kobo book, you can use it on any e-reading device that uses the epub format? That’s everybody but Amazon Kindle! You don’t have to own any Kobo-branded device or app to use these wonderful books. That said, Kobo-branded devices are some of the most beloved by users around the world, so why wouldn’t you want one?


Happy Leap Year Day!    ¡Feliz Bisiesto!

¡Gran novela, gran anuncio! A Great Book, a Great Announcement!

¡Estamos creciendo para que más lectores en el mundo entero puedan disfrutar de nuestros libros! ¡A partir de hoy, podrán comprarlos en Kobo! Para celebrar, nuestro primer título es la novela importante Noli me tangere, del héroe nacional de Filipinas, José Rizal, tanto en español como en inglés. Pondremos los links a nuestros otros libros como se hagan disponibles.

We’re branching out to reach more readers all over the world than ever! Açedrex will now be publishing with the good folks at Kobo! To celebrate, our first Kobo title is the important and exciting Noli me tangere by the Philippine national hero José Rizal, in both Spanish and English. We will add links to our backlist on Kobo as they become available.

As with the other books in the Español & English series, this book includes both the original Spanish and a complete English translation. Este libro contiene la novela original en español y una traducción completa al inglés.

Este libro revolucionario fue prohibido en las Islas Filipinas, por cuya libertad y nacionalidad aboga. Cuenta la historia de un joven que quiere desarrollar su país y liberarlo de la opresión de los poderes europeos a pesar de las amenazas de los religiosos y políticos de su pueblo. Es a la vez una historia romántica y un alegato contra la degradación moral y social de Filipinas en los últimos años bajo dominio español. Novela subversiva y necesaria para entender la cultura filipina. Esta edición, libre de errores, incluye un índice activo y una traducción completa y apasionada al inglés.

This book was banned in the Philippines for its revolutionary nature and its support of Philippine nationality and independence. It tells the story of a youth who returns from Europe ready to bring his country into the modern age, only to find life-threatening opposition at every turn from religious and political authorities. It is both a romance novel and an essay against the moral and social degradation of the Philippines in the last years of Spanish rule. It is subversive and utterly necessary for understanding Philippine culture. This edition includes a fully active table of contents, a glossary, copious informative cultural and contextual notes, the original Spanish and a translation into English that is both complete and passionately partisan. The translator doesn’t divide the chapters according to the original, but according to what he felt would make the most sense for a reader in English, so don’t be surprised to see that the Spanish has about 30 chapters and the English nearly 50.

Available for Kindle US | Kindle España | Nook | Kobo

Stories of Spain to Enchant You

It might seem as if there’s nothing going on at Açedrex since the turn of the year — au contraire! We’re working on some big, time-consuming projects behind the scenes. We’ll unveil them as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, I’ve been inspired to share with you the kind of books I was able to find as a young reader — books full of romance and exoticism: books written about the grand idea of “Spain” by non-Spanish authors. I present our latest release, Stories of Spain.

This beautifully edited e-book contains two short novels. “The Pretty Sister of José” is a sweetly passionate story of love spurned and requited, complete with flamenco singers and bullfighters, all lovingly described by the pen of the incomparable Frances Hodgson Burnett. This story includes the charming original illustrations with plenty of ruffled dresses, bolero hats, flowers, and longing looks.

The second story, “Carmen” by the great Prosper Merimee, was the basis for the libretto of Bizet’s opera, a story of tidal passions and love gone wrong told with that unmistakeable, wry sense of humor. It has the added bonus of Merimee’s extensive anthropological studies of Spanish gypsies of the early 1800’s and explanatory footnotes.

Two distinct views of the romance of Spain by two writers you can rely on for an enjoyable read.

Available now for Kindle US | Kindle España | Nook

The Law in Thirteenth-Century Spain, Now in Paperback

December is going to be Açedrex’s medieval month, and I’m happy to start it off with the fulfillment of a promise I made in September: Law and Order in Medieval Spain is now available in paperback here, and soon in many, many other venues where your library or bookstore will be able to order it.

The print edition is improved over the digital version with accurate plate numbering and overall editing. I’ve made it as affordable as possible and hope you will enjoy it. It’s a very good looking book.

If you have written a treatise on medieval Spanish literature, in Spanish or in English, and would like to see your work in print, please submit.

Please see the first post for a complete description and information on how you can get a free pdf of this book if you were one of the three people who bought a digital copy. Yes, three people! That’s a bestseller for academic non-fiction!

Cervantes’s Other Masterpiece in Español & English: Novelas ejemplares – Exemplary Novels

Continuamos nuestra serie verdaderamente bilingüe  — Español & English — con los cuentos más geniales del Siglo de Oro. Este libro está en el español original y en una traducción al inglés.

We continue our truly bilingual series, Español & English, with the most charming stories of the Spanish Golden Age. This book is in the original Spanish and an English translation.

Aunque Miguel de Cervantes las llama “ejemplares” o didácticas, estas novelas en realidad son cuentos de aventuras, de amores, de secretos e intrigas, de los bajos mundos y la más alta sociedad en Castilla, Andalucía, Italia e Inglaterra. La primera parte incluye todas las novelas ejemplares (también las que rara vez se imprimen en las ediciones modernas) en su orden original: La gitanilla, El amante liberal, Rinconete y Cortadillo, La española inglesa, El licenciado Vidriera, La fuerza de la sangre, El celoso estremeño, La ilustre fregona, Las dos doncellas, La señora Cornelia, El casamiento engañoso y El coloquio de los perros.

Puedes leerlas de un tirón o puedes hojear entre las versiones. Nuestra edición aporta un índice activo, todas las aprobaciones y los sonetos laudatorios, cada novela ejemplar, la traducción al inglés y muchas notas culturales en inglés para el lector curioso.

Although Miguel de Cervantes calls these stories “exemplary” or didactic, they’re really stories of adventure, love, secrets, intrigue, lowlifes and the high life in Castile, Andalusia, Italy and even England. The second part of this digital edition has each “novel” (even the ones that rarely appear in print) in the same order as the originals: The Little Gypsy Girl, The Generous Lover, Rinconete and Cortadillo, The Spanish English Lady, Dr. Glass-Case, The Force of Blood, The Jealous Estremaduran, The Illustrious Scullery Maid, The Two Damsels, The Lady Cornelia, The Deceitful Marriage, and the Dialogue of the Dogs.

Read them straight through, or flip between the Spanish and English versions. Our edition includes an interactive table of contents, the Spanish front matter, every story in both languages, the translator’s preface and Cervantes’s dedication and introduction, and extensive cultural notes in English.

¡Disponible ya! Available now! Kindle | Nook

The Last Days of Granada by One of the Most Popular English Writers of All Time

Leila, or The Siege of Granada by Edward Bulwer Lytton

From the same pen that brought us The Last Days of Pompeii and such unforgettable phrases as “the great unwashed,” “pursuit of the almighty dollar,” “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and the famous opening line “It was a dark and stormy night,” come these two feverishly romantic stories set in Golden Age Spain. Lytton was giving the public what it wanted and lived a life of renown, praise, riches, and some ribbing because of it.

Both books are well researched. While reading Edward Bulwer Lytton feels like a guilty pleasure, you might learn something, too.

Leila, Or The Siege of Granada takes place in late 1491, on the eve of the fall of the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, Granada. See the courtly intrigue and mighty battles from both sides — but mostly from the side of the defeated. It’s the side favored by the romantics, anyway. Witness Boabdil’s courageous last stand, and be there with him when he heaves the “last sigh” that is still commemorated at a vista toward the Alhambra today.

Calderon the Courtier tells the shorter tale of a forbidden love, deception, and betrayal at the court of King Felipe III.

This well-formatted edition includes an interactive table of contents and several explanatory footnotes from the first edition. Many original spelling errors have been corrected. This is, hands down, the cleanest edition of these works available.

Get these two amazing bargains in one volume in Kindle or in Nook.

More Spanish Travel by English and American Authors

As promised, Spanish Travels Volume 2 is now available!

As in the first volume, a lot of the value in this nineteenth-century travel writing lies in the unapologetic point of view. But this collection illustrates its value as a historical resource, too, with three charmingly lopsided sociological snapshots of Spain in the mid 1800’s and at the turn of the 20th century.

This edition includes a fully active Table of Contents and footnotes for easy navigation and 80 photographs and drawings in black and white, which can be enjoyed with an e-ink reader as easily as with a backlit one. If you’re familiar with modern Spain, you’ll marvel at the visual similarities and differences.

L. Higgin’s Spanish Life in Town and Country covers land, government, pop culture, the military, commerce, the condition of women and even delves into a personal account of the literature of the day, all in a friendly and insightful manner accompanied by stunning photos of people and places. If you ever need to quickly understand the context of a Galdós novel, this book will give you that, and a lot of gossip, too.

The Picturesque Antiquities of Spain is a collection of Nathaniel Armstrong Wells’s letters from Spain to a friend. The author never hesitates to wax poetic about Spain’s legendary past in the same breath that he complains about the freshness of the eggs at his hotel. His unyielding enthusiasm is that of a tourist, but this tourist has read up on his history and learned the language, if haphazardly. His frank bewilderment at some Spanish behavior makes him a comical guide through a country of stark contrasts.

William Dean Howells, a well known American novelist and critic in his time, caps the collection with Familiar Spanish Travels. As in his other writing, Howells shuns sentimentality, giving a blow-by-blow account of his travels, trains, and hotels, wryly commenting, “We were glad to go away from that dreadful place” and “we liked much better,” where appropriate. I can’t help but hold it against Howells that he makes the rookie mistake of comparing Córdoba in his time to its glamourous past or to other Andalusian cities, so that he’s quite disappointed. Otherwise, he includes entertaining vignettes about the quaint people he meets and the little boys he’s like to adopt and take back to America (in contrast to the scores of others he’s thrilled to leave behind). He rhapsodizes about the woman who finally fulfilled his dream to be told to “Go with God.” His sharp observations lead to poignant commentary on the contemporary society he’s observed in America and abroad.

A unique collection, not to be missed for fans of Spanish history, culture, and travel.

Now available in Nook and Kindle.

New Spanish Travel by English Writers

Açedrex is pleased to continue expanding our offerings in English on Spanish topics with a new two-book series.

I’ve always been a fan of nineteenth-century travel narratives in English. They make comparisons that reveal more about England or the US than they do about the country visited. They don’t avoid showing their awe or their disgust. They’re resolutely opinionated and unabashedly judgmental. In other words, their perspective makes the book.

In spite of all that, someone reading these narratives today can learn a lot about the Spain of the time: history, politics, customs, economic conditions and religious morality. This edition presents Castilian Days by John Hay and The Land of the Blessed Virgin by W. Somerset Maugham.

John Hay, lawyer, diplomat and journalist, served as Lincoln’s secretary and was US Secretary of State during the terms of McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. He helped negotiate the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War. First published in 1875, Castilian Days contains his sharp observations of Spain, 1867-1868, when he was secretary of legation in Madrid. Hay’s no-nonsense reporting makes you feel you are discovering Spain right along with him.

W. Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular writers of his era and is known as one of the most significant travel writers of the time. Playwright, novelist, and short story writer, Maugham wrote his reflections on Spain during his literary travels there early in his career. The Land of the Blessed Virgin is a collection of wryly detailed essays on what the author saw and the people he knew in Andalusia. The prose — and the Spain it portrays — sparkles.

The edition includes the full text of both books and a convenient interactive table of contents. Spanish Travels Volume 2, available in October 2011, will contain more great prose from savvy travel writers and period photography and etchings.

Available in Kindle and Nook.

Nueva Serie Bilingüe / New Bilingual Series: Doña Perfecta

¡Este libro contiene la versión original en español y una traducción al inglés!

This book contains the original novel in Spanish as well as a complete English translation!

Doña Perfecta is the first book in a series that best defines the meaning of our bilingual publishing house. Read the Spanish, read the English, or read them both!

Pepe Rey, matemático y sobrino de Doña Perfecta viaja desde la urbe a Orbajosa para casarse con Rosario, su prima. Mete la pata de inmediato con Inocencio, el “penitenciario,” diciendo liberalidades. Le acusan de ateo. Perfecta no da ninguna libertad a Rosario porque no quiere que se casen, pero ya se han enamorado. Añade a esta tensión la llegada de las tropas, un abogado y planes para un secuestro entre los sentimentos de culpabilidad de una chica enamorada y tienes la melodramática y teatral trama de Doña Perfecta.

Los personajes de Galdós, psicológicamente verosímiles, están motivados por pasión en vez de ideologías. Tienden a ver el mundo a través de los cristales deformadores de sus prejuicios particulares, lo que es tan cierto de los personajes «buenos» como de los «malos». Se señalan los puntos de vista estrechos y conservadores de las pequeñas comunidades, su oscurantismo y prejuicios. Pero se describe la sociedad de Madrid como superficial y frívola. La rígida visión que tiene doña Perfecta de la religión triunfa sobre su reacción inmediata, de verdadero cariño, hacia Pepe, y distorsiona la opinión que tiene de él. El choque de prejuicios se convierte en un choque de personalidades a medida que avanza la novela, que termina de manera llena de suspense y sorpresas.

Nuestra edición digital incluye los textos completos y un índice activo para fácil navegación entre las versiones.

Debido a las ideas cambiantes del autor, existen por lo menos tres versiones del final del libro. Las dos versiones de esta edición corresponden al final B. La existencia de una variedad de finales agrega muchos colores más al caleidoscopio que es Doña Perfecta. Es muy recomendable que los busques.

Pepe Rey, a mathematician and nephew of Doña Perfecta, travels from the capital to Orbajosa to marry his cousin Rosario. He immediately makes social gaffes with Inocencio “the penitentiary,” discussing liberal policies. Pepe is accused of being an atheist. Perfecta does not want the marriage to take place and puts Rosario on lockdown, but the two have already fallen in love. Add to these tensions the arrival of the troops, a lawyer and plans to run away together amid the guilty feelings of a girl in love and you have the theatrical, thrilling plot of Doña Perfecta.

Galdós’s psychologically realistic characters are motivated by passion instead of ideology. The “good” ones as much as the “bad” ones tend to see the world through the deforming lenses of their own prejudices. The conservative, narrow points of view of small towns are highlighted, but Madrid society is described as superficial and frivolous. Doña Perfecta’s strict sense of religion triumphs over her first, sincere feelings of affection for Pepe and distorts her opinion of him. The clash of prejudices becomes a clash of personalities as the novel goes on, and ends in a suspenseful, surprising scene.

Our digital edition includes the complete texts and an interactive table of contents that make navigation between the versions simple. The English translation absorbs the final Spanish chapter into the second-to-last, probably because the original last chapter is so short.

Due to the author’s changing ideas, at least three versions of the ending exist. The two versions of this edition correspond to ending “B.” All these different endings add another splash of color to the kaleidoscope that is Doña Perfecta and it’s highly recommended to investigate them.

¡Los dos libros en uno! Two books in one: Kindle | Nook