Date of Degree
Fred J. Nichols
Jorge de Montemayor's Los siete libros de la Diana (1559) was one of the more popular Renaissance pastoral romances. This Spanish pastoral romance written by a Castilianized Portuguese had many continuations. It influenced other pastoral works in England, and enjoyed a wide readership throughout Europe, as its many editions and translations witness. The Diana is a transitional work and an example of what writers of prose fiction were striving for in the middle of the 16th century. The Diana retained elements of the chivalric romance, integrated Petrarchan influences that had hitherto been reserved for the lyric, adhered to Neoplatonic love casuistry that had hitherto been reserved for courtly circles, and synthesized the plot into a pastoral setting. It is the successful blending of these elements that make the work unique.
The only complete English translation was done by Bartholomew Yong in 1598. This translation, however, is a response to euphuistic Elizabethan tastes. Yong used archaic expressions, added adjectives, made the simple prose of the Diana more “poetic,” and generally expanded on the text. Because of its seminal qualities, the Diana should be more accessible to a wider audience. This translation of the Diana is a literal one based on the Barcelona 1561 text, one of the first dated editions. It is intended for the reader who has little or no knowledge of Spanish. I have sacrificed rhyme and meter in the poetry in the interest of retaining meaning, and have tried to reproduce Montemayor's style by adhering to the original syntax.
Mueller, RoseAnna M., "Montemayor's "Diana": A Translation and Introduction" (1977). CUNY Academic Works.