Abstract and Keywords
This article analyzes Lazarillo de Tormes, which was translated in 1576 and helped to define an English understanding of Spanish literature and culture as concerned with the struggle to overcome the cruel and hostile forces that besieged the peasant in an authoritarian society. Such a world encouraged sly cunning and militated against moral probity, at least until the good fortune of the ‘picaro’ ran out. This book had a major impact on the course of English fiction, notably Thomas Nashe's The Unfortunate Traveller, published just over a decade later, as well as the earthy style of prose and drama.
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