La Diana  

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Los siete libros de la Diana, better known as La Diana, is a book by Portuguese writer Jorge de Montemayor whose reputation is based on this prose work, a pastoral romance published about 1559. Shortly afterwards Montemayor was killed in Piedmont, apparently in a love affair; a late edition of the Diana gives the exact date of his death. The Diana is generally stated to have been printed at Valencia in 1542; but, as the Canto de Orfeo refers to the widowhood of the Infanta Juana in 1554, the book must be of later date.

It is important as the first pastoral novel published in Spain; as the starting-point of a universal literary fashion; and as the indirect source, through the translation included in Googe's Eglogs, epytaphes and sonnets (1563), of an episode in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Though Portuguese was Montemayor's native language, he only used it for two songs and a short prose passage in the sixth book of the Diana. His mastery of Spanish is amazing, and even Cervantes, who judges the verses in the Diana with unaccustomed severity, recognizes the remarkable merit of Montemayor's prose style. That he pleased his own generation is proved by the seventeen editions and two continuations of the Diana published in the 16th century, by parodies, imitations and renderings in French and English.

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