Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: 1900
Boston. 1900. Little Brown. Reprinted Hardcover Edition. Small Stain On Lower Back Boards, Otherwise Very Good.No Dustjacket. Translated from the Spanish by Minna Caroline Smith. 353 pages. hardcover. keywords: Literature Translated Spain. inventory # 11941. FROM THE PUBLISHER - ‘SARAGOSSA’ is the sixth volume in the brilliant series of historical novels by B. Perez Galdos, which begins with ‘Trafalgar’ and closes with ‘The Battle of the Arapiles,’ embracing ‘The Court of Carlos IV,’ ‘Gerona,’ and ‘Napoleon in Chamartin.’ B. Perez Galdos, possibly known best in the United States as the author of ‘Dona Perfecta,’ may be called the Walter Scott of Spain. He is, however, truer to history than Scott, and the characters he creates move in an atmosphere of reality rather than romance. ‘Saragossa ‘ is one of the most powerful, impressive, and popular of the twenty novels wherein he tells the gallant story of his native land. This tale of the second siege of the ancient Aragon city by the generals of Napoleon is a work of art, one that stirs the blood with admiration of the indomitable valor of the Spaniards; yet is it not also a document of special pleading for the world’s peace? ‘Saragossa’ ranks with Tolstoi’s ‘War and Peace,’ and Zola’s ‘La Debacle,’ among great dramatic war novels. Herein also are at least three of the best drawn characters in international literature, - the masterly miser Candiola, his beautiful daughter Mariquilla, and that valiant and lovable citizen, Don Jose de Montoria. Manuela Sanchez appears as«a minor character, the ‘Maid of Saragossa’ whose bravery is honored in a street named for her in her native city. She is a type of the daughters of Saragossa, for more than one of them, in the exaltation of the terrific struggle against the French, extended their patriotic services beyond those gentle ones usual to women in besieged cities, rallying soldiers and serving guns. The events leading up to the siege of Saragossa are a part of the history of Spain in her struggle for continued national existence against the encroachments of Napoleon. Although it was national warfare, each province and strong provincial city made its own individual stand. Therefore words like those quoted on a preceding page from Napier’s ‘Peninsular War’ have an especial significance. The English general’s words are doubly striking when read in connection with these of Galdos, ‘Men of little sense - without any on occasion - the Spanish to-day, as ever, make a thousand blunders, stumbling and rising in the struggle of their inborn vices with the eminent qualities which they still preserve. Providence holds in store for this people great advancings and abasements, great terrors and surprises, apparent deaths and mighty resurrections.’ The threatened loss of her nationality was the terror which hung above Spain in the dark days of 1808. Her court was rent with factions; her royal house was divided against itself. Three parties had made dissension in the palace and among the people. One was the party of the King Carlos IV; one was that of his son, Prince Ferdinand; the third, of a most insidious power, was that of Don Manuel Godoy, whose ambitions and pretensions were supported by the queen. A corrupt court and an intriguing priesthood had promoted the troubles of Spain, causing king, prince, and favorite, each and separately, to make application to Napoleon for protection, and for the support of their various plans. The imbecility of the Spanish Bourbons at such an hour in European history was inevitable in its influence upon the Emperor of the French. His ambition grew with this new opportunity. Under the mask of operating with Spain against Portugal, Napoleon filled the Peninsula with French troops under generals like Junot and Moncey and Lannes. The Spanish king and prince were already in France, and practically in durance there, before the people realized the danger which was close upon their very existence as a nation. Popular insurrec. Bookseller Inventory # 11941
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