Don Juan Manuel, nephew of King Alfonso X, The Wise, knew well the appeal of exempla (moralized tales), which he believed should entertain if they were to provide ways and means for solving life's problems. His fourteenth-century book, kwn as El Conde lucar, is considered by many to be the purest Spanish prose before the immortal Don Quixote of Cervantes written two centuries later. He found inspiration for his tales in classical and eastern literatures, Spanish history, and folklore. His stories are t translations, but are his retelling of some of the best stories in existence. The translation succeeds in making the author speak as clearly to the modern reader as to readers of his own time.
The Tranlators: Both John E. Keller and L. Clark Keating, Emeritii at the University of Kentucky, have served as professors, researchers of note, and university administrators. The Book of Count Lucanor and Patronio was their fist collaboration among the twenty books and scores of articles written by them. Keller was knighted by King Juan Carlos and is a comendador (commander of the Order of Alfonso X, The Wise). Keating received the Palmes Academiques from the French government. Their translation of the Libro de los exenplos por a.b.c. (The Book of Tales by A.B.C.) was published by Peter Lang in 1992. Barbara E. Gaddy, received a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is now Professor of French and Spanish at Transylvania University, has updated the Bibliography and the Introduction and expanded the content.