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Amadis of Gaul, Books I and II: A Novel of Chivalry of the Fourteenth Century: Bks. 1 & 2 (Studies in Romance Languages) Paperback – 1 Nov 2009

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Product Description


"Set in and around England after the Roman era, but before the advent of Arthur, it tells the complex interwoven story of the adventures of Amadis, the greatest knight of all time.... This 16th century bestseller presents an exciting, past-paced and ultimately very entertaining story that modern readers should have little difficulty in appreciating." -- "SF Site"

About the Author

Edwin Place was professor emeritus at Northwestern University. Herbert Behm taught language arts in California. John E. Keller, professor emeritus of Spanish at the University of Kentucky, is co-author of Daily Life Depicted in the Cantigas de Santa Maria.

Inside This Book

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HERE BEGINS THE FIRST BOOK of the courageous and virtuous knight Amadis, son of King Perion of Gaul and of Queen Elisena, which was corrected and emended by the honorable and virtuous gentleman Garci-Rodriguez de Montalvo, Alderman of the noble town of Medina del Campo. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
You've read the descendants, now read the original! 17 Jun. 2005
By Douglas Glassman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Amadis of Gaul is, in one word, classic. It's the novel from which all modern adventure and fantasy novels come from. It's insipired imitators and parodies, including Cervantes' equally classic Don Quixote--a book which has great reverence for Amadis itself. Knights, damsels, giants, dragons--this book truly has it all.

The best part is, the editors wrote this book so that it's easy for everyone to read. No preservation of archaic dialects here--pick this book up and you'll be able to read it with no problems. Recommended for all lovers of literature.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
True Knight Errantry! 17 Aug. 2009
By D. MATRANGA - Published on
Format: Paperback
Once the paternity and early deeds of the main character have been established, Amadis of Gaul turns into a fine narrative devoid of that numbing lifelessness so typical of many other Medieval works, particularly the excruciatingly dull and unimaginative Malory collation of Arthur, Lancelot and Tristan legends (my apologies for provoking the ire of ardent medievalists, but truth be told reading Malory is a chore). I reckon Montalvo to be a Homer of sorts, who with deft hands subtly shapes, coloring and augmenting the existing legend into a more convincing and worldly work--amazingly enough, a work still suitable to our modern day sensibilites! Characters in Amadis have opinions, occasionally make sarcastic asides, and (believe it or not) engage in sexual intercourse, overall acting in a more human manner than any of their medieval literary counterparts. A comparison that comes to my mind is the way in which the stiff and rigid statues of medieval churches became more realistic by the re-introduction of the contrapposto technique. I initially purchased this because it's specifically mentioned during an amusing episode in Don Quixote where the curate, barber, the Don's niece and his housekeeper believe, in consigning his vast library of books of chivalry to the flames, they are curing him of his madness. It was exciting to come across a scene in Amadis that Cervantes clearly lampoons in Don Quixote involving Amadis bemoaning the fact he hasn't been able to give Gandalin, his squire, an island as recompense (all this before Amadis places himself into a self-imposed exile, another scenario also spoofed in DQ) for fealty to his master. If you've read Don Quixote you'll know that an island is the promised gift that becomes fantasized carrot and a relentless jeremiad for Sancho Panzo. If you liked Orlando Furioso (which I recommend in Waldman's readable prose translation) you will like this as well, perhaps a bit more. Despite being an academic press, which explains the higher cost, this work is a fun read and is rendered into a charming, simplified English by translators Herbert Behm and Edwin Place. It could easily fit in the Penguin classics catalog as a standard work.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The story of Don Quixote's favorite knight! 20 Nov. 2012
By Lawrentius Verifer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you plan to read Don Quixote, or just want to read a terrific story about the days of knights and their ladies, this book is a classic. Probably begun in the 14th century it was revised and expanded (and given numerous sequels) on into the 18th century! It was an early best-seller, first read to audiences and then once printing was introduced, in handy book form. Cervantes' entire project of Don Quixote could be said to be a commentary on Amadis. And a very complex commentary at that. Deep in the wilderness and far from his lady-love Dulcinea, Don Quixote decides to follow the example of Amadis, not Orlando. To make sense of that, you'll be wonderfully prepared if you've immersed yourself in this book first. I personally was so gripped by Books I and II that I ordered Books III and IV to find out what happened next. It's an exciting read. And if you're a student at any level there's material here for nearly endless papers and studies, especially in relation to Cervantes. Highly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Link to the past 24 Jun. 2011
By Boogerwood - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a father's day gift to my father who is a direct decendent of the author (as am I, of course). I just wish to express my sincere gratitude to the translator/editor for bringing these inspiring texts back to life!

I hope you'll consider these works and keep the history alive!
Great read! 30 May 2014
By Maryha A, Coughlin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great romance novel. I am not a modern romance novel reader but find these 16th and 17th century chivalric novels intriguing and we are comparing this novel with Don Quijite. Bought it for a class and reading excerpts from it, cannot wait to read the whole book.
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