And Other Tales of Mystery and Crime
A collection of stories by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón
In this book, eight stories written by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon have been brought together in English for the first time. The nail in "The Nail" is found driven into a disinterred skull, and if some of the events are implausible and others incredible, it is also true that there is considerable suspense and mystery. "The Cornet" draws more heavily on historical reality, with its depiction of the horror of civil war and factual detail. Noteworthy for its first-person narration and rapid-fire dialogue, "The Cornet" paints an episode of fraternal love and the power of the will. "The Orderly," although set against the same Carlist War background, has more to do with a military "attitude" than a Carlist "War", and describes the transformation effected in one officer by one orderly. The War of Independence (1808-14) was fought against Napoleon and his attempt to place his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne. After years of horrendous carnage and the Duke of Wellington's victory at Vitoria, the "Little Corporal" renounced the Spanish crown. The War of Independence stories - "The French Sympathizer" and "The Mayor of Lapeza" - have been known to generations of Spanish readers, especially for their theme of patriotism. These two, together with "Long Live the Pope!" and "The Guardian Angel," extol the heroism and courage of the Spanish people. "The Foreigner," the story of a young Pole who had been conscripted into Napoleon's army, looks at Spain and two of her soldiers through the eyes of a Spanish muleteer.
Used availability for Pedro Antonio de Alarcon's The Nail
June 1997 : USA Hardback