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This is one of the finest of epic poems and the only one to have survived from medieval Spain. The hero, El Cid, is a warlord of Herculean stature: superiori to his fellow men in action, of outstanding generalship and courtesy, he is at the same time a good husband and a devoted family man. Blending fiction with historical fact in a manner unique in the heroic epic, the plot seethes with the restless, adventurous spirit of Castille, telling of the Cid's cruel banishment, his victorious campaigns in Valencia and the crowning of his daughters as queens of Aragon and Navarre, the high point of his career as a warmonger. Of august majesty as well as down-to-earth humanity, this exhilarating works sings of human qualities that are today as universally admired as they were in 13th century Spain.
One of the finest of epic poems, and the only one to have survived from medieval Spain, The Poem of the Cid recounts the adventures of the warlord and nobleman Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar - 'Mio Cid'. A forceful combination of heroic fiction and historical fact, the tale seethes with the restless, adventurous spirit of Castille, telling of the Cid's unjust banishment from the court of King Alfonso, his victorious campaigns in Valencia, and the crowning of his daughters as queens of Aragon and Navarre - the high point of his career as a warmonger. An epic that sings of universal human values, this is one of the greatest of all works of Spanish literature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Rita Hamilton read Spanish at King's College, London and held various academic positions at the university, finally becoming a Fellow in 1973. She died in 1982.
Janet Perry studied Spanish, French and German, becoming a Lecturer at King's College, London in 1921, a post she held for twenty-three years. She died in 1958.
Ian Michael is a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford and King Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish Studies for the University.