This book examines how love is portrayed in the work considered Cervantes' masterpiece, The Trials of Persiles and Sigismunda. Wilson illuminates Cervantes' use of the ancient genre of Greek romance to contest various outdated fictions about women, love, and marriage--fictions that were collapsing under the constraints of an emerging bourgeois culture. Taking as her subject Cervantes' erotic imperative to leave behind "barbaric" notions of love, Wilson demonstrates how the heroes of the Persiles, unlike Don Quixote, learn to adapt.  Allegories of Love not only examines the fundamental importance of sexual and cultural difference in Cervantes' last romance, but also reveals the historical conditions of love and marriage during the late Renaissance.

About the Author

Diana WilsonDiana de Armas Wilson is a retired Denver University Professor Emerita, with an appointment in Renaissance Studies. She is a bilingual Latina. She holds a current NEH grant, and her latest publication is an English translation of a 1570s Spanish chronicle of captivity in Ottoman Algiers (An Early Modern Dialogue with Islam, Notre Dame UP, 2011). She is the sole editor of the latest Norton Critical Edition of Don Quixote and the author of four scholarly books on Cervantes. She has just finished a stage play titled Madman of La Mancha (unpublished but under copyright). She has given keynote talks at various American universities, in Costa Rica, and in Oxford, England. Most recently she has been invited to give papers in Barcelona, Algiers, and Istanbul. She is a widow and the mother of four daughters.