King James I and His Chivalric Autobiography

in Authoring the Past

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226032320
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226032344 | DOI:
King James I and His Chivalric Autobiography

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter deals with the different circumstances surrounding the writing of King James I's chronicle, which introduced the tradition of Catalan historical chronicles. The circumstances around the writing of the Llibre dels fets clarified James's decision to write an autobiography rather than a genealogy. Autobiography became history as he recounts his territorial conquests and military deeds, and those of his knights. James's chronicle should be read as an account of the Crusades. James died in July 1276, leaving a unique literary treasure, his own autobiography, the Llibre dels fets. This autobiography consists of 566 chapters that cover James's life and reign, from the time of his conception to his death. His vivid images made his autobiography a dynamic and dramatic document. James edited, colored, and structured the narrative of his own deeds, transforming them from experience into literary legend.

Keywords: autobiography; King James I; Llibre dels fets; reign; territorial conquests; military deeds

Chapter.  5661 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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