Written around 1381 by Bernat Metge, the most important Catalan writer of the fourteenth century, the Llibre de Fortuna i Prudència is a fantasy in verse, drawing on learned sources, principally The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius.
Early one morning, Bernat, the protagonist and narrator, decides to alleviate his sorrows by strolling around the harbour of Barcelona. He meets an old man, apparently a beggar, who tricks him into getting into a boat which, despite the absence of sails and oars, conveys him to an island where the goddess Fortuna appears to him. In a heated discussion, Bernat blames her for all his misfortunes. His next meeting is with Prudencia who is accompanied by seven maidens representing the liberal arts. Prudencia is able to lessen his despair, and exhorts him to trust in providence and renounce material possessions. When she considers him cured, she and the maidens send him sailing back to Barcelona, where he quickly goes home to avoid gossiping townsfolk.
DAVID BARNETT, whose doctorate is from Queen Mary, University of London, continues to be involved in research on medieval Catalan literature.
The exceptionally clear presentation of the volume facilitates comparison of the two languages and Barnett is to be congratulated on his very readable translation. BULLETIN OF SPANISH STUDIES, December 2013
First Published: 17 Nov 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781855662285
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Imprint: Tamesis Books
Series: Textos B
Subject: Hispanic Studies
BIC Class: GTB
Details updated on 14 Mar 2014