Fortunata and Jacinta
Two Stories of Married Women
ISBN 9780140433050 | 848 pages | 07 Mar 1989 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Fortunata and Jacinta is arguably the greatest novel to have come out of nineteenth-century Spain, and certainly one of the most important European masterpieces of its period. It is also strikingly dissimilar from the work of other nineteenth-century novelists, for although Galdós followed the tradition of Balzac, Tolstoy and Dickens - with whom he easily merits comparison - his writing brings to life an astonishing range of characters in a way that reveals a unique insight into all extremes of human behaviour and an ear for social dialogue at every level. Nowhere are his gifts better displayed than in Fortunata and Jacinta. Set in Madrid during the 1870s, the novel has as its central theme the destructive jealousy of two women who love the same man: one his wife, the other his mistress. As their story unfolds, Galdós creates an unforgettable portrait of life in Madrid, revealing the city as a variegated fabric of delicate traditions and established vices, of shaky politics and rich intrigue. In this new translation Agnes Moncy Gullón does full justice to the range and power of Galdós's writing, and evokes the deep affection and understanding for his countrymen that have immortalized him as the hero of the common man in Spain.