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Full Note for Series: Amadis de Gaula

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Note: A series of 24 novels. The first several were published in Spain, then translated into French. Later books were published originally in French. The Antiquariaat bookstore (t'Goy-Houten, UT, Netherlands) writes, in part: "In sixteenth-century France, few books were read so avidly as the series of two dozen novels known collectively as Amadis de Gaule. Yet although it was a roaring success at court, Amadis was scorned by many humanists, who condemned its racy tales of sex, magic, and adventure as lascivious and silly, at best a waste of time better spent on more profound reading. The Amadis romances most likely originated in Castilia in the 14th century, but European fame only started with the publication of the Amadis de Gaula in the Spanish adaptation by Garcia Rodrigues de Montalvo, at Zaragoza, in 1508. The editio princeps consisted of four books, of which the oldest known edition is from 1519, and to which in the course of the 16th century new books were added. Real fame however was due to the elegant French translation by Nicolas the Herberay des Essars, which started to be published at Paris in 1540. Most subsequent translations followed the French version. De Herberay made the genre very popular, first in court-circles, then also with the people, and editions in all languages were published till far into the 18th century. In French the Amadis grew until, at the beginning of the 17th century, it reached 24 Books, ... several of which probably were directly composed in French since no Spanish prototypes are known. Amadis de Gaule was modelled after the characters from King Artur's Round Table, ... so the Amadis romances also are peopled with giants, dwarfs, and fairies from the Celtic wonder-world, and the characters are gifted with a boundless chivalric fantasy."
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