Chronicle of Alfonso X
Alfonso X died before his own life could be written. His was a reign fraught with political intrigue and double crosses, almost constant war and equally constant diplomacy, royal largesse and economic instability—all of which led to open revolt and efforts by Alfonso's own son to depose the king. It would be another sixty-some years before King Alfonso XI would commission Fernán Sánchez de Valladolid to write Cronica de Alfonso X to memorialize his great-grandfather. As Alfonso XI's trusted counselor, ambassador, diplomat, and legist, Fernán was an understandable choice, but in the centuries since, his convoluted prose has proven extremely difficult extremely difficult for scholars.
Chronicle of Alfonso X is the first and only translation of the king's history. The original "clumsy Castilian" of Fernán Sánchez has now been transformed into literate and engaging English.
"The chronicle is of unequal quality and value. . . . Thacker and Escobar have done a decent job, conveying the often turgid and clumsy prose of the original Castilian into clear idiomatic English."—History
"Thacker and Escobar have opened the door for the English-reading audience to appreciate the dynamic personal and historical background of the life of Alfonso X, who changed the intellectual, social, and political landscape of thirteenth-century Spain and justly earned the sobriquet Stupor mundi."—Speculum
"I do not believe that there will ever be another translation or the need for one. The extreme difficulty of the original Spanish will preclude other attempts."—John E. Keller
"Literate and agile. The book is an important contribution, not only because the original looms large in medieval Hispanic scholarship but because fairly good Hispanists can use the help of a translation with this clumsy Castilian."—Robert I. Burns
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