10. Marķa Antonia Garcés, Romance Studies

Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive’s Tale (Vanderbilt University Press, 2002). Returning to Spain after fighting in the Battle of Lepanto and other Mediterranean campaigns against the Turks, the soldier Miguel de Cervantes was captured by Barbary pirates and taken captive to Algiers, where he remained as a slave until 1580. Garcés examines the five years he spent in the Algerian bagnios and the impact of his imprisonment on his works. No book has documented in such vivid and illuminating detail the socio-political world of sixteenth-century Algiers, Cervantes’s life in the prison-house, his four escape attempts, and the conditions of his final ransom. Garcés’s portrait of a sophisticated multi-ethnic culture in Algiers is likely to open new discussions about early modern encounters between Christians and Muslims. By bringing together evidence from many different sources, historical and literary, Garcés reconstructs the relations between Christians, Muslims, and renegades in Cervantes’s writings. The book received the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association.

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