Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo on George Borrow

In between pints of Summer Lightning I’ve been reading bits of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo’s account of heresy in Spain, Historia de los heterodoxos españoles. Menéndez Pelayo does not allow himself the populist virulence of George Borrow‘s anti-Papism, but one does have a delicious sense of scores being settled when he writes re Borrow’s dissemination of bibles in Spanish and Catalan (Lo Nou Testament de nostre Senyor Jesu-Christs traduit de la Vulgata llatina en llengua catalana ab presencia del test original (pub Bergnes @ Barcelona in 1836)) of the nineteenth century’s favourite chav‘s “fatuous simplicity and lack of culture”, his credulity: “He was consumed by the gypsies’ vulgar tongue, and his writings dealing with their customs and way of life are of great curiosity value, although devoid of all scientific spirit and intent.”

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