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Persiles and Sigismunda

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Literature, Narrative



Original title

Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda

This is a chivalric romance by Miguel de Cervantes in which he narrates the fantastical adventures of ‘Persiles’ and ‘Sigismunda’.

The Trials of Persiles and Sigismunda: A Northern Story is the last novel written by Miguel de Cervantes. It was published posthumously in 1617. ‘Persiles’ and ‘Sigismunda’ are prince and princess of the Kingdoms of Thule and Frisanda, respectively. Both embark on a host of cloak and dagger adventures, as dangerous as they are implausible, until they finally marry in Rome at the end of the novel.

The story was inspired by both ancient and modern works, specifically Heliodorus’s The Aethiopica (4th century) and Alonso Núñez de Reinoso’s Historia de los amores de Clareo y Florista (1552). Nonetheless, the Cervantes novel goes beyond the simple chivalric romance and Byzantine sub-genre, to create a hymn to the creative will and imagination in the form of pure literary pleasure.


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