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700 hundred years later, the author of "Amadis de Gaula " discovered?

Santiago Sevilla
sevillagloor@yahoo.com

The significance of "Amadis de Gaula"is such, that without it, there would not be "Don Quijote de la Mancha". I was reading that most beautiful novel of chivalry to my 96 years old father, when he said to me: -"Those times of Amadis are the origin of our name, the conquest of Seville in 1248."
This was the clue for my enquiries and research for the unknown author of the "Amadis".
There had been speculation about the authorship: It was said that the author could be a Portuguese trouvadour Vasco de Lobeira, who would have written or copied the novel around 1385 by the time of the Battle of Aljubarrota. Other sources mentioned that the chronicler Pero Lopez de Ayala had read the novel while imprisoned after that same battle. But the Encyclopaedia Britannica places the publication of "Amadis" at 1305. The novel is contained within 1300 pages. So, most probably, it had been written mostly during the XIII century.

Although written in Spanish, Amadis could be seen as a follower of Geoffrey of Monmouth's HISTORIA REGUM BRITANIAE OF 1136, in part devoted to King Arthur. In France, Chretien de Troyes compiled the Arthurian legend in romances for his patroness Countess Marie de Champagne in 1175. By sake of obvious coincidence or adroit signalizing by the author, "Amadis" is a novel placed at the court of king Lisuarte, or Edward I Longshanks, and it's hero is a French prince, Amadis, or Simon de Montfort. Inspired by the Arthurian legends, but creating a completely new saga or epic, the author presented the life and times of the XIII century, as he experienced it himself. How could a Spanish novelist know so much about the court of Windsor and Westminster? How did he show such extraordinary knowledge of battling and horsemanship? How could he reveal the secrets of courtly love?

So, I enquired about the presence of noble Spanish visitors in Henry III and Edward I courts in England. Some generous Spanish "Medievalistas" helped me,signaling the appearance of Henry of Castile in Windsor in 1255 to visit his sister, Leonor de Castilla, the consort of Prince Edward,"the best lance in Europe", as he was known. Henry of Castile was a most valient knight errant who , together with his father king Ferdinand III the saint, had conquered Seville, had battled against the Moors and was exiled from Spain after fighting against his brother, now King Alfonso X of Castile, defending his inherited Dukedom in Andalusia. His family produced great writers. Alfonso X was called the Wise for his works on legislation, history, songs and poetry, hunting and chess. His nephew,Don Juan Manuel wrote "El Conde Lucanor","El Libro de las Armas" and other books. Stil today, Henry of Castile himself is revered in Italy as a fine poet. So, I could establish that he gathered all requirements for the authorship of "Amadis de Gaula". Unfortunately, his plagiarist Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo made disappear the original book, which he copied, where perhaps his signature appeared, like in his Italian poetry, where he signed "Don Arrigo", as he was known in Rome. So, evidence was needed that he would be the author of "Amadis". Then I discovered that he had left a clue to his authorship by creating an Alter Ego in the novel. He is Brian de Monjaste, like himself the son of the Spanish king Ladasan, or San Fernando III. He fights parallel battles as his twin, particularly the battle of the Seven Kings, totally equivalent to the Battle of Tagliacozzo in Italy in 1268, where Henry of Castile, with a small army of Spanish knights, was the hero, winning the first encounter, putting in flight most of his opponents, to the point of sacking arms and jewels of the defeated, when his enemy and cousin Charles of Anjou threw an army of thousand crusade knights into the battle, won the day, and later imprisoned Henry for 22 years, time when "Amadis" was written.

Brian de Monjaste calls himself Plantagenet having the same ancestry as Henry of Castile, and supplies many more signals of authorship which I have presented in some ten essays published in Liceus.com and Scribd. A representative of the Biblioteca Nacional of Spain has accepted Henry of Castile as the author of "Amadis", The literary establishment in Spain has difficulty abandoning the plagiarist Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo who published the copied first three books of "Amadis", and added a fourth "Las Sergas de Esplandian" which was ridiculed by Cervantes in "El Quijotede la Mancha". Corroboration by english speaking historians would contribute to secure the discovery of the true author. " Amadis" precedes other famous tales of chivalry, such asThomas Mallory's "La Morte d'Arthur". "Amadis" was written in Castilian Spanish, translated to English, French, Italian and other languages. It is foremost a European Epic and should be studied by all nations due to it's importance as witness of events in the fascinating century of chivalry and crusades. My old father was right, when he mentioned the conquest of Seville in connection of "Amadis". It's author Henry of Castile was the hero of that day. He was then only eighteen years old. His last battle he fought at age 66, against the Moors, as he returned from his Italian imprisonment, and became regent of Castile. Henry died at age 74 in 1304.



 

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