This book is the only one of its kind in English. Part literary history, part literary criticism, it is above all a personal assessment of a rich and important body of work which is still t widely kwn outside Catalonia. Catalan literature, one of the three major Peninsular literatures, reached an impressive level of excellence in the middle ages, beginning with Ramon Llull and the chronicles, and culminating in the two great fifteenth-century writers, the poet Ausias March and Joat Martorell, the author of Tirant lo Blanc, one of the landmarks in early prose fiction. After three centuries of relative eclipse, the nineteenth-century Renaixenca produced a distinctive version of Romanticism with table achievements in poetry, theatre and the vel. More recently, Catalan writers have successfully assimilated a number of international tendencies, from Symbolism to Surrealism, while remaining deeply aware of the possibilities of the Catalan language itself. After the cultural disruption caused by the Civil War of 1936-39 and its aftermath, Catalan literature has once again shown its capacity for self-renewal, and the present literary scene is one of great interest and originality. The book does t presuppose any kwledge of Catalan; all quotations and book titles are translated, and a list of works translated into English is included. ARTHUR TERRY is Emeritus Professor of Literature at the University of Essex. Este libro queda sin paralelo en ingles. Una combinacion de historia y critica literarias, es ante todo una valoracion personal de una literatura rica e importante que todavia queda poco cocida fuera de Cataluna. La literatura catalana consiguio un nivel de excelencia impresionante en la Edad Media y, a partir de su restablecimiento a principios del siglo diecinueve, ha demostrado una capacidad extraordinaria de autorevacion que todavia persiste hoy en dia. Este libro presupone saber catalan; cada cita y titulo de libro queda traducido, y se incluye una lista de obras traducidas al ingles.