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Item request cannot be made. The book is not in any sense a formal history; it is a series of picturesque impressions rendered with remarkable force. On his return from Africa Alarcon did the Liberal party much good service as editor of La Politica, but after his marriage in to a devout lady, Paulina Contrera y Reyes, he modified his political views considerably. On the overthrow of the monarchy in , Alarcon advocated the claims of the duc de Montpensier, was neutral during the period of the republic, and declared himself a Conservative upon the restoration of the dynasty in December These political variations alienated Alarcon's old allies and failed to conciliate the royalists.
But though his political influence was ruined, his success as a writer was greater than ever. The publication in the Revista Europea of a short story, El Sombrero de tres picos , a most ingenious resetting of an old popular tale, made him almost as well known out of Spain as in it. This remarkable triumph in the picturesque vein encouraged him to produce other works of the same kind; yet though his Cuentos amatorios , his Historietas nacionales and his Narracionies inverosimiles are pleasing, they have not the delightful gaiety and charm of their predecessor.
In a longer novel, El Escandalo , Alarcon had appeared as a partisan of the neo-Catholic reaction, and this change of opinion brought upon him many attacks, mostly unjust.
The Three-Cornered Hat (Oneworld Classics) - Pedro Antonio de Alarcon
His usual bad fortune followed him, for while the Padicals denounced him as an apostate, the neo-Catholics alleged that El Escandalo was tainted with Jansenism. Of his later volumes, written in failing health and spirits, it is only necessary to mention El Capitan Veneno and the Historia de mis libros , both issued in Alarcon was elected a member of the Spanish Academy in He died at Madrid on the 20th of July His later novels and tales are disfigured by their didactic tendency, by feeble drawing of character, and even by certain gallicisms of style.
But, at his best, Alarcon may be read with great pleasure. The Diario de un testigo is still unsurpassed as a picture of campaigning life, while El Sombrero de tres picos is a very perfect example of malicious wit and minute observation.
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