This edited volume of fourteen specially commissioned essays written from a variety of critical perspectives by leading cervantine scholars seeks to provide an overview of Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares which will be of interest to a broad academic readership. An extensive general Introduction places the Novelas in the context of Cervantes's life and work; provides basic information about their content, composition, internal ordering, publication, and critical reception, gives detailed consideration to the contemporary literary-theoretical issues implicit in the title, and outlines and contributes to the key critical debates on their variety, unity, exemplarity, and supposed "hidden mystery".
After a series of chapters on the individual stories, the volume concludes with two survey essays devoted, respectively, to the understanding of eutrapelia implicit in the Novelas, and to the dynamics of the character pairing that is one of their salient features.
Detailed plot summaries of each of the stories, and a Guide to Further Reading are supplied as appendices. Stephen Boyd is a lecturer in the Department of Hispanic Studies of University College Cork.