The importance of Hartzenbusch in the history of the Spanish drama and the enduring popularity in Spain of Los Amantes de Teruel, his masterpiece, have assured this play a definite place in the work of advanced students of Spanish literature in our universities. For such students the many editions published in Spain and elsewhere have been perhaps sufficient, but for the much larger number who never reach the advanced literary classes an annotated edition is needed. That this play offers excellent material for the work of more elementary courses in the schools and colleges has long been the opinion of the present editor; and that it has not already found a place among the Spanish texts published in this country is difficult to understand. The old legend of Teruel, the embodiment of pure and constant love, is one that might well be expected to make a strong appeal to the youth of any country; the simple and direct presentation given to the legend by Hartzenbusch and the comparative freedom from textual difficu
is time in making furniture, although his inclination was toward literature.
His leisure was given to study and to the acquirement of a practical knowledge of the dramatic art, gained for the most part from books, because of his father's dislike of the theater and because of the lack of money for any unnecessary expenditure. He translated several French and Italian plays, adapted others to Spanish conditions, and recast various comedias of the Siglo de Oro, with a view to making them more suitable for presentation. He tried his hand also at original production and succeeded in getting some of his plays on the stage, only to have them withdrawn almost immediately. Undiscouraged by repeated failure, he continued studying and writing, more determined than ever to become a successful dramatist and thus realize the ambition that was kindled in him by the first dramatic performance that he had witnessed when he had already reached manhood.
At the time of his marriage in 1830 he was s
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