¡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.