Matthew Bailey on Charlemagne and His Legend in Early Spanish Literature and Historiography

The historical point of departure for this volume is Charlemagne’s ill-fated incursion into Spain in 778. Its six essays explore the legendary narratives of the Spaniards who defeated Charlemagne’s army and the larger textual and cultural context of his presence in Spain, from before their careful elaboration in Latin and vernacular chronicles into the early modern period. The volume shares with previous studies a focus on the narration of historical and imaginary events across genres, but is unique in its emphasis on the reception and evolution of the legendary figure of Charlemagne in Spain. The essays gathered here represent a collective effort by prominent scholars to address the diversity and importance of the Carolingian legends in the literary, historical, and imaginative spheres during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and into the seventeenth century.