The Archpriest of Talavera by Alonso Martínez de Toledo: Dealing with the Vices of Wicked Women and the Complexions of Men

The Archpriest of Talavera by Alonso Martínez de Toledo: Dealing with the Vices of Wicked Women and the Complexions of Men

Translated by Eric W. Naylor and Jerry R. Rank
2013 | 230 + vii pp. | 978-0-86698-480-5 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 432 | $65 | £51 |

This first complete translation into English of The Archpriest of Talavera, a title based on the ecclesiastical office of its mid-fifteenth-century author, Alfonso Martínez de Toledo, is intended both for the general medievalist and for beginning students of medieval Spanish literature who often seek help with its very difficult prose style. The work is principally a treatise on the harmful effects of illicit sex on both men and women, with some later parts addressing the free-will / predestination controversy.

Divided into four books, the first two are partially based in “The Reprobation of Profane Love,” the final part of the medieval classic by Andreas Capellanus (André le Chapelain), De amore, and consider how profane love ruins our lives and separates us from God’s love.

The best known part of the Archpriest of Talavera is the second book which is full of amusing tales of feminine wiles and vices. It is related in a vivid style that has made the work a Spanish Classic and has resulted in it being sometime mistakenly called the Corbacho, after the antifeminist work of Boccaccio.

Because of the relation of The Archpriest of Talavera with Andreas Capellanus, the editors have included in footnotes the English translation of the appropriate parts of the De Amore, so that the reader may perceive when The Archpriest uses this work as a direct source.