Portuguese Irregular Verbs

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For verbs in Portuguese, see Portuguese grammar.
Portuguese Irregular Verbs
PortugueseIrregularVerbs.jpg
First edition
Author Alexander McCall Smith
Illustrator Iain McIntosh
Country Scotland
Language English
Series Professor Dr von Igelfeld
Genre Comic novel
Publisher Maclean Dubois[1]
Publication date
1997
Media type Print
Pages 128
ISBN 0-9514470-4-1
OCLC 62223758
Followed by The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

Portuguese Irregular Verbs is a short comic novel by Alexander McCall Smith, and the first of McCall Smith's Professor Dr von Igelfeld novels. It was first published in 1997.[1]

The protagonist is a bitter German professor, Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, who feels that he is not accorded the scholarly recognition and veneration he deserves. Von Igelfeld is an extremely tall philologist at the Institute of Romance Philology in Regensburg, Germany. His closest peers at the institute are professors Dr Dr (honoris causa) Florianus Prinzel and Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer. Von Igelfeld is plagued by envy and suspicion of them.

In Portuguese Irregular Verbs, von Igelfeld's interest in, and expansive knowledge of, Romance languages take him on junkets abroad, where he finds adventure and mishap. The book's title refers eponymously to von Igelfeld's magnum opus, an enormous tome of approximately 1200 pages (which sells poorly).

Alexander McCall Smith followed Portuguese Irregular Verbs with two sequels: The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances, both published in 2003. In 2004, Abacus (an imprint of Little, Brown and Company) republished all three novels in a paperback omnibus titled The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs has eight chapters:

  1. The Principles of Tennis
  2. Duels, and How to Fight Them
  3. Early Irish Pornography
  4. Italian Matters
  5. Portuguese Irregular Verbs
  6. Holy Man
  7. Dental Pain
  8. Death in Venice

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