(c. 1520-1561)
Jorge de Montemayor is most famous for his pastoral novel, Diana (c. 1559), which signaled the decline of the chivalric romance and became the new style of novel in Spain. It may have been the source of Sir Philip Sidney's* Arcadia.
Born near Coimbra, Portugal, Montemayor took the name of his birthplace, translated it into Spanish, and made it his surname. His original surname is unknown. He became Spanish of his own free will, which did not sit well with his compatriots, who at one point banned his works in Portugal. Musically in­clined, he was a singer in the chapel of Princess Maria and later Princess Juana, both daughters of the monarch Charles V.* When Princess Juana married the Portuguese Prince Juan, Montemayor went with her to Portugal. When the prince died, he returned with the princess to Spain. It was then that he began to gather his religious and secular poems in Cancionero, or poetic anthology, which he published in 1554. The Inquisition banned his religious poems on theological grounds. His secular ones achieved a degree of success and saw seven editions before the turn of the century. Montemayor went to Flanders and possibly En­gland as a part of King Philip II's* retinue when the monarch went intending to marry Mary I.* He returned to Spain in 1559 and died two years later in a duel, possibly over jealousy.
Although Diana is his most famous work, Montemayor wrote poems, trans­lated poetry, and wrote other prose works as well. Diana first appeared in print in Valencia in 1558 or 1559. It blends the pastoral with the fantastic, mythology with portraits, real life with fancy. It was enormously successful: it saw sev­enteen editions in Spanish before the end of the century and was translated into French, English, Italian, and German four times. In Spain, a Second Part of the Diana was published in 1564, and in the same year Gaspar Gil Polo published Diana in Love. The novel influenced Honore d'Urfe's* novel L'Astrée and pos­sibly Philip Sidney's Arcadia. True to its genre, Diana is a sentimental love story about courtiers disguised as shepherds. It appealed to Cervantes's* Don Quixote even on his deathbed. Don Quixote's preference for this novel over his previous affinity for chivalric romances registered the change in taste among Spanish readers. Although the pastoral was intended for a more elite audience, Diana enjoyed great popularity, as attested to by its censure by moralists who attacked its extended love scenes. After the Diana, Spaniards saw at least forty bucolic novels published over the next sixty years.
B. Damiani, Montemayor's Diana, Music, and the Visual Arts, 1983.
E. Rhodes, The Unrecognized Precursors of Montemayor's Diana, 1992.
Ana Kothe

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Montemayor, Jorge De — • A writer, born at Montemôr, province of Coimbra, Portugal, about 1520; died at Turin, 26 February, 1561 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Montemayor, Jorge De      …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Montemayor, Jorge de — (1520 1561)    Portuguese born poet, prose author, and singer in the imperial chapel at Madrid. He spent most of his career in the service of Philip II of Spain. His poems on religious themes are important contributions to devotional liter ature …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Montemayor, Jorge de — (Montemor) ► (1520 61) Novelista y poeta portugués. En castellano escribió su novela pastoril Los siete libros de la Diana (1559?), obra que aclimató el género en España y que fue repetidamente imitada …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Jorge de Montemayor — (Portuguese: Jorge de Montemor) (1520? – February 26, 1561) was a Portuguese novelist and poet, who wrote almost exclusively in Spanish. Biography He was born at Montemor o Velho (near Coimbra), whence he derived his name, the Spanish form of… …   Wikipedia

  • Jorge De Montemayor — est un écrivain espagnol, né au Portugal en 1520 et décédé en Espagne en 1561. Il était attaché à la maison de la princesse espagnole Jeanne qui fut mariée à l héritier de la couronne du Portugal. Il est connu comme l auteur de deux textes  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MONTEMAYOR (J. de) — MONTEMAYOR JORGE DE (1520 env. 1561) Poète et musicien castillan d’origine portugaise. Chanteur à la cour, Jorge de Montemayor passa du service de l’infante doña Maria à celui de son frère, le futur Philippe II, qu’il accompagna lors de son… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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