Biblioteca Enrique Gil


XI. The Lord of Bembibre [English]

The Lord of Bembibre: The Spanish Templar. The first translation into English of Enrique Gil y Carrasco's El Señor de Bembibre. Translated into English by Margarita Núñez Gonzalez, Brian Morrissey and Alonso Carnicer.

2ª edición, 2021, 338 páginas, edición ilustrada con 21 láminas de Juan Carlos Mestre; introducción de Valentín Carrera; impresión  disponible en Pérgamo, Amazon y Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de León.

Leer una muestra

Here we have the long-awaited first English version of Enrique Gil y Carrasco’s historical novel El Señor de Bembibre, generally regarded as the best of its genre in the Spanish Romantic period. How will an English reader of the 21st Century react to this work written in 1844 but depicting the early years of the 14th? A time when the huge power of the Crusader Knights of the Temple, extending over France, Spain and elsewhere in Europe, was coming to its end.

Armoured knights, picturesque castles and ladies in distress have acquired a certain popularity in our modern TV series or films but they in no way convey the complexity of Medieval chivalry, the immense power and influence of the Church. Or, for example, the subjugation of noble women as pawns in great power games.

El Bierzo has long ceased to be the terrain of Knights Templar resplendent on their war horses. Nor is it quite the landscape that Enrique Gil may have recalled nostalgically on his untimely deathbed in far off Prussia, but today most of its topography remains. We hope that the readers of this book will feel inclined to visit or revisit the land he so vividly described.


The Spanish Templar

SUMMARY: In the North West of Spain, in the early years of the Fourteenth Century, the last progeny of two great houses have fallen in love, despite the wishes of the lady's father and amid the tumult of war that calls her suitor to battle.

Doña Beatriz Ossorio is the last surviving offspring of Don Alonso Ossorio, the lord of Arganza, and Doña Blanca de Balboa. And her lover, Don Álvaro Yáñez, lord of Bembibre, is also the last of his line. Although they have pledged their love to each other in the high chivalric manner, the lady's father has promised her hand in marriage to the count of Lemos, in the hope that great advantage will follow for himself and his family from an alliance with such a powerful nobleman and protégé of the Infante Don Juan, uncle of the King of Castile. After failing in an attempt to spirit Doña Beatriz away to a safe place, Don Álvaro goes to Castile to join battle with the royal forces besieging the castle of Tordehumos, but he is wounded and captured.

Her father's insistence on the arranged marriage affects Doña Beatriz's physical and mental state, and when she receives news that Don Álvaro is taken for dead, the lady agrees to her mother's dying request and consents to marry the count of Lemos. But Don Álvaro was imprisoned, not dead, and when he is released and learns of Doña Beatriz's marriage, contrary to her promise to him, the knight joins the Order of the Temple. He takes part in the defence of the Templar stronghold of Cornatel, in which the count of Lemos is killed. Although Doña Beatriz is now free to marry, Don Álvaro's vows to the Order deny him this freedom, pending a decision to be taken by the Church at the Council of Salamanca, which is judging the matter of the dissolution of the Templars.

The anxiety of their situation causes the lady's health to deteriorate further, so that when a dispensation arrives from the Pope allowing their union, the distress brings on a crisis and Doña Beatriz, on her deathbed, is married to Don Álvaro. Disconsolate, the lord of Bembibre settles his affairs and disappears from Spain, only returning near the time of his own death to watch over the burial place of his lady from the heights of Mount Aquiana.


The Lord of Bembibre, ENRIQUE GIL, Paradiso_Gutenberg, 2017, translated from the original El Señor de Bembibre, published in 1844.

e-book edition, eBooksBierzo, 2017.

Translated into English by Margarita Núñez González, Brian Morrissey and Alonso Carnicer, 2017.

Prologue, by Doireann MacDermott, 2017.

“The Lord of Bembibre in Spanish Romanticism”, by Derek Flitter, 2017.

Editor’s note, by Valentín Carrera, 2017.

Ilustrations, by Juan Carlos Mestre, 2015 and 2017.

Second English Edition in BIBLIOTECA ENRIQUE GIL, by Valentín Carrera, editor, 2021.

ISBN BOOK: 978-84-945097-7-3

ISBN eBook: ISBN 978-84-945097-8-0


Edita Paradiso_Gutenberg para Fundación Biblioteca Enrique Gil, 2021.

GALERÍA: Las láminas de Mestre: (re)visión gráfica de El Señor de Bembibre

Compartir: Compartir por email
© Valentín Carrera 2024