Peribanez is a poetic tragicomedy of masterly theatricality and profound human interest. Created from a few lines of folk song, it tells of the Comendador's adulterous passion for Peribanez's wife, Casilda. The conflict between Peribanez, the sturdily independent peasant farmer, and the romantic, self-doubting bleman is brilliantly presented against a background of a whole society, from peasant to king, in harmonious coexistence. An underlying poetic structure of great richness and consistency adds depth to Lope's handling of the theme.
James Lloyd (1946-1991) came to Spanish drama via the Classical theatre of Greece and Rome. As a Lope enthusiast, his favourite birthday treat was to translate and perform a different play each year for his friends. His verse translations of the plays of Lope de Vega aimed to capture the drama and pace of the astonishingly versatile original language. James Lloyd will be remembered as a great polymath, polyglot, family man and teacher of many languages who died prematurely soon after this book was published.