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Authoring the PastHistory, Autobiography, and Politics in Medieval Catalonia$
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Jaume Aurell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226032320

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226032344.001.0001

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King James I and His Chivalric Autobiography

King James I and His Chivalric Autobiography

(p.39) 2 King James I and His Chivalric Autobiography
Authoring the Past
University of Chicago Press

This chapter deals with the different circumstances surrounding the writing of King James I's chronicle, which introduced the tradition of Catalan historical chronicles. The circumstances around the writing of the Llibre dels fets clarified James's decision to write an autobiography rather than a genealogy. Autobiography became history as he recounts his territorial conquests and military deeds, and those of his knights. James's chronicle should be read as an account of the Crusades. James died in July 1276, leaving a unique literary treasure, his own autobiography, the Llibre dels fets. This autobiography consists of 566 chapters that cover James's life and reign, from the time of his conception to his death. His vivid images made his autobiography a dynamic and dramatic document. James edited, colored, and structured the narrative of his own deeds, transforming them from experience into literary legend.

Keywords:   autobiography, King James I, Llibre dels fets, reign, territorial conquests, military deeds

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