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This article explores the connections between official history writing, the genre of political biography and translation practices in France and Spain in the seventeenth century. It argues that Juan Pablo Mártir Rizo’s Historia trágica de la vida del duque de Biron, a biography he wrote using Pierre Matthieu’s monumentally large Histoire de France as a source, served to refashion contemporary history by actively intervening in the text in order to change its political and ideological implications. Early modern theories on imitation and the hackneyed traduttore, traditore motif are thus the backbone of the analysis of a translation that shows how historical truth depended on what side of the Pyrenees writers and historians stood, and how both the original French source and the Spanish involvement in the Conspiracy of the Duke of Biron are “betrayed” in one and the same process.



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