Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages


Lia Schwartz

Committee Members

Ottavio Di Camillo

John O'Neill

José del Valle

Subject Categories

Medieval Studies | Spanish Literature


Spanish literature, Medieval literature, Letters


This thesis intends to be a new edition of a text widely read in its time judging by the number of manuscripts and editions that circulated between the last quarter of the 15th century and the next. They are epistles directed to historical personalities of the end of the 15th century who played an important role in the politics and in the society of Fernando de Pulgar’s time. Along with political and diplomatic matters, the Letters express author’s personal feelings and reactions to the political or social situation of the fifteenth century Castile.

A new edition of Fernando de Pulgar's Letters has seemed necessary because all the previous editions lack sufficient explanatory notes that would facilitate a better understanding of the text.

My purpose has been to recover the literary and historical value of an early text that contributed to the development of Spanish literature, by explaining the complexity of the work with notes of a historical, lexical and linguistic nature that can facilitate the modern reader to penetrate the intellectual, religious and social-political environment of Castile in the late 15th century. I have also included relevant information on Bible characters that are mentioned in the epistles of Pulgar, geographic places, historical facts and personalities of the Castilian political environment. Through this text the readers can approach the vocabulary and the spelling of the 15th century Spanish, which allows them in some cases to observe the evolution of the language over time.

This new edition is addressed not only to scholars familiar with Spanish of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance but to any student or reader who might find the work difficult to understand.

The sharpness of the Letters expressed by Fernando de Pulgar presents us to an author who describes and participates in the active life of his time and whose observations are still very current, despite the centuries that have passed.