An English Translation of Carlos Segundo, El Hechizado / Charles the Second, the Bewitched (1837): An Original Spanish Drama in Five Acts and in Verse
By: Don Antonio Gil Y Zarate (author), Robert G. Trimble (translator)Hardback
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This is the first English translation of Carlos Segundo, "el Hechizado". The play "Charles the Second, the Bewitched" was lauded as one of the great Romantic dramas, but caused controversy over its criticism of royalty and Catholic Church. The end of the seventeenth century saw the demise of the Spanish Hapsburg dynasty that had ruled Spain for two hundred years. The last King of that bloodline was Charles II, who was born in 1861 and died in 1700. He was physically deformed and mentally limited from birth and not expected to live. His father, Phillip IV, died when he was four years old, and Charles lived to rule until he was thirty-nine. His reign was fraught with two matters of great interest, birth of a successor and, in lieu of that, a designated successor from another European royal family. Neither matter was settled in his lifetime. Married twice, he had no children, and he came to be known as 'Charles the Impotent' and later 'the Bewitched'. His death was followed by more than a decade of conflicts known as the Wars of the Spanish Succession.
This matter was finally settled by a treaty that placed a French Bourbon Prince on the throne of Spain, beginning a dynasty that persists to this day. The death of Ferdinand VII of Spain in 1833 caused a sudden change in the political situation of that country that brought with it a burst of the literary movement called Romanticism. The revival of the freedoms of this genre was particularly strong in the Spanish theater from the mid 1830s to about 1850. The drama includes a fictional love story involving an illegitimate daughter of the King, and presents a passionate and evil priest who wields personal and governmental power over the monarch. This drama is the best-known work of the poet and dramatist, Don Antonio Gil y Zarate (1793-1861).
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