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The Pleasant History of Lazarillo Tormes

Edited with extensive notes by Gareth Alban Davies.
Woodcuts and wood engravings by Frank Martin.
Detail from the cover

Detail from the cover

This is a modernised version of the translation by David Rowland, published in 15 8 6, of one of the classics among translations into the English language. Also a Spanish classic, Lâarillo is the first and possibly the greatest of the picaresque novels. Among the first to define the genre, it may be considered a very early psychological novel, as well as an exploration of the novel's potential in narrative terms. It is in addition a critique of contemporary Spanish life, and particularly of religion and the Church's failure to promote adequate ethical models to follow.

Frank Martin's illustrations, printed from the original woodblocks, convey the scorching heat of the Spanish landscape. His figures come alive depicting the wretched and grandiose, witty and satirical nature of Lâarillo. A virtuoso performance from one of Britain's most gifted illustrators.

Frank Martin studied wood engraving with Gertrude Hermes. Since the 1950s he has illustrated many fine books, and now enjoys international acclaim as an artist and printmaker.

Professor Gareth Alban Davies is a native of the Rhondda Valley in South Wales. He was a student at The Queen's College, Oxford, and recently retired as Professor of Spanish from the University of Leeds.


Designed by David Esslemont, printed and published by Gwasg Gregynog in a limited edition of 300 numbered copies, 116 pp., 260 x 170 mm.

Set in i4pt and i2pt Monotype Garamond and printed on the same Zerkall mould-made paper as this prospectus. All copies bound by Alan Wood at Gregynog.

80 copies in quarter brown goatskin with printed paper boards, gold rule, hand-sewn headbands, titled in gold on the spine. In a brown cloth slipcase.

200 copies in quarter brown cloth with printed paper boards, titled in gold on the spine.

20 copies as folded sheets, for bookbinders

Published with the financial support of the Welsh Arts Council and the Crafts Council.

The illustration from the book are available as individual signed prints. List of available prints

Example pages: click on an image for a larger version.