A long and complex Romance of Chivalry, begun in the late 15th or early 16th century by the Spanish writer García Ordez de Montalvo. Its bibliography is intractably complicated: the original Spanish title was Amadís de Gaula; the title of the first French edition was Amadis de Gaule, and this still commonly appears; an occasional anglicized version of the title is Amadis of Gaul. In the end, the whole is perhaps more like a Cycle than a Romance as such, however complexly intertwined might be the extremely numerous tales which are included.
The most important single author involved is Montalvo, who seems to have adapted the first three books from traditional material, and to have composed volumes four and five himself as original continuations. There are many further volumes in Spanish as well as in Italian, French and German, with various additions and deletions. Continuations by other authors, including de Herberay in France and Mambrino Roseo in Italy, were numerous. The compound work could be ascribed as follows: Amadís de Gaula (first 3 vols from traditional sources 1508, plus vol 4 1508 and vol 5 1510, all by García Ordez de Montalvo; vol 6 1510 by Pez de Ribera; vol 7 1514 by Feliciano de Silva; vol 8 1526 by Juan Daz; vol 9 1530, vol 10 1532 and vol 11 1535-1551, all by Feliciano de Silva; vol 12 1546 supposedly by Pedro de Lujn; French trans with new material by Nicholas de Herberay as Amadis de Gaule 1540-1554; excerpts trans Thomas Paynell [circa 1528-1568] as The Treasurie of Amadis of Fraunce 1568; first 4 vols trans from de Herberay by Anthony Munday [1553-1633], as The Ancient, Famous and Honourable History of Amadis de Gaule 1589, 1592 and 1619; cut trans of first 4 vols, Robert Southey, as Amadis of Gaul 1803). [JC]
Amadís de Gaula