From English Introduction: "Pedro Antonio de Alarcón was born at Guadix in the province of Granada, the 10th of March 1833, the fourth of ten children of an old and noble family, whose wealth had been lost in the wars of the Napoleonic period and the disorders that had followed. His father destined him for the bar, and after reaching the baccalaureate at the age of fourteen, at the seminario of Guadix, he went to Granada to begin his professional studies, only to be recalled by the res angusta domi to his home, where perforce he exchanged jurisprudence for theology, and began preparation for the priesthood. The boy's heart was not in his professional studies, and his best efforts were given to other matters; he taught himself French and Italian, began to write, and formed the project of going to Madrid, to set up as a man of letters. His parents declined to support him in this ambition, but Alarcón persisted. Through Torcuato Tárrago, a young writer at that time living in Guadix, he was introduced to a Cadiz publisher, who undertook the issuing of a weekly journal, El Eco de Occidente, which was to appear at Cadiz and Granada, and whose literary redaction was to be entrusted to the two young men. The venture vi was successful. After three years' work the savings seemed sufficient, and on the 18th of January, 1853, Alarcón left home. He went first to Cadiz, where he gave his attention to matters concerning the journal, and a month later he reached Madrid,—without introduction or friends, but with some little money and with a goodly sheaf of verses, notably an ambitious continuation of Espronceda's Diablo Mundo, all of which he burned, after much interviewing of publishers. In short, he did not get along at all at the capital, and when his money was gone and the husks were sour, he made his own the immemorial custom of the prodigal, and went back to his father's house. A complete reconciliation followed his return. He had been drawn for military service: his father purchased his release, and gave him permission to live in Granada, where he renewed his connection with the Eco de Occidente. In Granada also he found agreeable literary society, and the year spent there was one of profit to himself and of success for his journal, in whose management he had an increasing influence and part. His first mingling in politics was in 1854, when he took open and active part in the rebellion that culminated in the mutiny of Vicálvaro (the 30th of June), distinguishing himself by his noisy and militant radicalism, and gaining the ill-will of many of the elements whose favor, in his later life, he found it wise to win—the clergy, the army, the national militia. Before the end of the year he was in Madrid, where he became the editor of El Látigo, the most extreme of the anti-royalist periodicals. This connection vii was ended by a duel, and Alarcón gave up politics for the time, and retired to Segovia, to restore health broken by irregular living, and to write. El Final de Norma was the most ambitious work that dates from this time, with a very great number of short stories and miscellaneous articles published in various journals, all of which brought him a considerable reputation throughout Spain. In 1856 he visited Paris and "wrote up" the exposition of that year for the Spanish press. Towards the end of 1857 he made his appearance at the theatre of the Circo at Madrid, with his one play, El Hijo Pródigo."
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De un modo u otro, todos cuantos han vertido su opinion sobre El sombrero de tres picos han destacado nitidamente esta novela entre el resto de las creaciones d Alarcon, situandola en lugar privilegiado dentro de la brillante narrativa de su epoca. Emilia Pardo Bazan consideraba a la obra ""delicioso idilio realista"" y la enaltecia hasta llamarla ""rey de los cuentos espanoles""; Juan Eugsenio Hartzenbusch afirmaba haber leido ""con el mayor deleite la preciosa novelita""; para Luis Alfonso -en un articulo que introduce algunas de las ediciones de la obra-, ""nuestro escritor ha sabido en ciertos momentos mojar la pluma de Quevedo en la paleta de Goya""... Y son legion quienes, tanto en epoca de su autor como despues de ella, se refieren a El sombrero de tres picos empleando terminos tan encomiasticoscomo ""joya literaria"", ""perla de la narrativa decimononica"", ""obra de plenitud"", etc, etc.(De la Introduccion de Rafael Rodriguez Marin)Product Description:
La obra más importante de Alarcón, El sombrero de tres picos (1873), retoma el motivo popular del corregidor que quiere seducir a la molinera. Años después inspiró al andaluz Manuel de Falla su famoso ballet. El sombrero de tres picos tuvo un éxito enorme desde su publicación y ha venido a ser considerada como suobra de plenitud, donde, aparte de su acierto al retratar a grandes pinceladas a sus personajes, se nos presenta con más justeza como novelista de acciones, de sucesos, preocupado ante todo por el movimiento, por el desarrollo y avance de la historia.
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