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A writer of mesmerizing literary power. We should be grateful for such blessings.

—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

In a brilliant new translation, a wonderful novel by Eça de Queirós: “Portugal’s greatest novelist” (José Saramago)

The Illustrious House of Ramires (New)

Fiction by José Maria de Eça de Queirós

translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa

The Illustrious House of Ramires, presented here in a sparkling new translation by Margaret Jull Costa, is the favorite novel of many Eça de Queirós aficionados. This late masterpiece, wickedly funny and yet tender, centers on Gonçalo Ramires, heir to a family so aristocratic that it predates the kings of Portugal. Ramires—charming but disastrously effete, idealistic but hopelessly weak—muddles through his pampered life, burdened by a grand ambition. In part to further his political aspirations, he is determined to write a great historical novel based on the heroic deeds of his fierce medieval ancestors. But “the record of their valor,” as the London Spectator remarked, “is ironically counterpointed by his own chicanery. A combination of Don Quixote and Walter Mitty, Ramires is continually humiliated but at the same time kindhearted. Ironic comedy is the keynote of the novel. Eça de Queirós has justly been compared with Flaubert and Stendhal.”

published May 23rd, 2017