Amadis de Gaula was a huge success. This piece was inspired by French novels of the Arthuric circle; it was published in 1508 by García Rodríguez de Montalvo.
During the time period between 1508 and 1517, Amadis had about thirty editions. Within the first one hundred years after its publication date, about fifty chivalric romances surfaced in Spain and Portugal, and once a year (from 1508 to 1550) one of them was published; in addition to those, there were nine more novels published between 1550 and the year of the Invincible Spanish Armada (1588). Only three more novels were printed before Don Quixote was officially published.
It’s amazing how successful chivalric romances truly are. We already know that Saint Therese and Saint Ignacio used to read them eagerly when they were young. These novels’ belligerent compassion was completely connected to the expectations and anxieties of the Spanish society.
The pastoral novel
The pastoral novel was another great success. It started in Spain, having a very close connection to chivalric romances. In Jorge Montemayor’s work, the conception of love is completely medieval, with a visible influence of the neo-platonic doctrine of León Hebreo. A great part of Gil Polo is inspired by Gli Asahani, written by Bembo, constituting an alternative vision of the neo-platonic theory in a much puritanical version than the one by Montemayor. La Galatea by Cervantes is known by its sobriety, which intends to give more stability to the pastoral world. Krauss has also established the connection between pastoral literature and the economic rise of the livestock association, Mesta.