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DepositFROM EYEWITNESS NARRATIVES TO RETELLINGS AND LITERARY ADAPTATIONS: THE RUSSIAN TIME OF TROUBLES IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE

The article focuses on the adaptation strategies used by Lope de Vega in his play El Gran Duque de Moscovia y emperador perseguido (1617). This tragedy, built on material acquired from travelogues, represents the first depiction of the Russian Time of Troubles in fiction. In it, one can follow Lope de Vega’s shift from preserving the factual details collected from different travel sources to creating his own Baroque story placed within a purely Catholic world, as opposed to reality. In doing this, Lope de Vega creates a fictional space filled with mystery and miracles, where Heavens can intervene and punish the guilty party, whereby restoring the original status quo. Key situations turn from illustrations of an alien world into much more general depictions, namely, that of a tyrant versus a legal monarch, and the will of a ruler versus the law. The shift into tyranny provides the story with a new narrative centre and, by following Lope de Vega’s emphasis on the “Muscovian story,” discloses its universal spirit

MemberJesse Sadler

I am an early modern historian interested in the social and familial basis of politics, religion, and trade. I received a Ph.D. in European History from UCLA in 2015 and have taught courses on cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe and the Atlantic. My research investigates the familial basis of the early modern capitalism through archival research on two mercantile families from Antwerp at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century. I am currently working on a manuscript that argues for the significance of sibling relationships and inheritance in the development of early modern trade. My manuscript places concepts such as patriarchy, emotion, exile, and friendship at the heart of the efficacy of long-distance trade networks and the growth of capitalism.