Catalan Historical Review, No 11 (2018)

Catalan fiction in the 15th century

Antoni Ferrando

Abstract


Catalan fiction in the 15th century is framed within the context of the expansion of the Crown of Aragon around the Mediterranean, the emergence of Valencia as the cultural capital of the Crown, the crisis in the prevailing mediaeval values, the consolidation of a monetary economy, and fertile contacts between Catalan culture and Castile, France, Burgundy and especially Italy. This is perfectly illustrated by the five most important fictional pieces from that era: Història de Jacob Xalabín, which refers to the Ottoman Empire; Curial e Güelfa, which is set in Italy, France, the German Empire, the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa; Tirant lo Blanc, by Joanot Martorell, which focuses on England, the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa; Espill, by Jaume Roig, whose main character travels around Catalonia, France, Castile and Galicia; and Vita Christi, by Mother Isabel de Villena, which sets Jesus’ life in a courtly milieu.

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