Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spain 19.8.1990 - 500th Anniversary of "Tirant lo Blanch"

This is a lovely depiction on stamp and cover of the famous Spanish Novel 'Tirant lo Blanch'. The stamp issued on 19.6.1990 commemorates the 500th Anniversary of this novel.
'Tirant lo Blanch', a romance written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell and published in the city of Valencia in 1490. The title means "Tirant the White" and is the name of the main character in the romance.
Tirant lo Blanch tells the story of a medieval knight Tirant from Brittany who has a series of adventures across Europe in his quest. He joins in knightly competitions in England and France until the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire asks him to help in the war against the Ottoman Turks, an Islamic tribe of invaders threatening Constantinople, the capital and seat of the Empire. Tirant accepts and is made Megaduke of the Byzantine Empire and the captain of an army. He defeats the Turkish invaders and saves the Empire from destruction. Afterwards, he fights the Turks in many regions of the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa, but he dies just before he can marry the pretty heiress of the Byzantine Empire.
The loss of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 was considered at the time to be a major blow to Christian Europe. In writing his novel, Martorell perhaps rewrote history to fit what he wanted it to be - which in a way makes it a precursor of the present-day genre of alternate history.
The cover shows the Title page of the first Castilian-language translation of Tirant lo Blanc, printed in Valladolid by Diego de Gumiel.

Thank you Maria.

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