Feliciano de Silva

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Feliciano de Silva (1491 – June 24, 1554) was a Spanish writer.

de Silva was born in Ciudad Rodrigo to a powerful family, Silva wrote “sequels” to La Celestina and Amadis de Gaula. de Silva was a prolific writer. His first chivalresque work, Lisurate de Grecia (nephew of Amadis de Gaula), was published in 1514. It is a relatively short work. His Amadis of Greece (1530) continued the success enjoyed by this first work. Amadis of Greece is divided into two parts which deal with the adventures of Amadis of Greece, Knight of the Burning Sword, son of Lisuarte of Greece and Onoloria of Trabizond (Trapisonda), as well as his love for both Princess Lucela of France and Princess Niquea of Thebes, whom he subsequently marries.


Silva followed this work with two others: Don Florisel de Niquea (Sir Florisel of Nicaea) (1532) – which deals with the knightly adventures and loves of first-born son of Amadís de Grecia and Princess Niquea – and Don Rogel de Grecia(Sir Rogel of Greece) (1535). In 1551, he published the voluminous Cuarta parte de don Florisel. Many of his chivalreque works were translated into English and French.

Feliciano's sequels to Amadis of Gaul:

  • Book VII : 1514 Lisuarte de Grecia
  • Book IX : 1530 Amadis de Grecia
  • Book X : 1532 Don Florisel de Niquea
  • Book XI : 1535 & 1551 Don Rogel de Grecia

His Segunda Celestina, his sequel to Celestina, is an original work in its own right, and is a mixture of Erasmian satire, picaresque themes, and high-quality verses. One of many imitations of Celestina, Silva’s was the most popular, and features the love shared between Felides and Polandria.

He also wrote Sueño de Feliciano de Silva (Feliciano de Silva’s Dream), added to the end of Amadis of Greece, which deals with the history of Silva’s romance with the woman who would become his wife (in 1520), Gracia Fe, daughter of the converso Hernando de Caracena, against the wishes of his family. de Silva died in Ciudad Rodrigo, and was buried in the convent of Santo Domingo (no longer extant).

Legacy[edit]

Silva’s style was subsequently mocked by Miguel de Cervantes, who made Feliciano de Silva Don Quixote's favorite author:

Y de todos ellos ninguno le parecían tan bien como los que compuso el famoso Feliciano de Silva, porque la claridad de su prosa y aquellas intrincadas razones suyas le parecían de perlas.

— Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Chapter 1

Translation:

But of all there were none he liked so well as those of the famous Feliciano de Silva's composition, for their lucidity of style and complicated conceits were as pearls in his sight.


The majority of Don Quixote commentators and scholars have sided with Cervantes in mocking Silva’s works, though many of them had neglected to read them. Though he is hardly remembered today, de Silva enjoyed considerable success during the sixteenth century. His works are currently being re-evaluated and examined for their contribution to Spanish literature in the Siglo de Oro.

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