Books

The House of Ulloa

Emilia Pardo Bazán

'Then he saw the barrel of a gun aimed dead on target - not at him, as he might have expected, but at the clergyman's back.'

Set in a crumbling Spanish mansion, this gloriously comic and gothic novel follows the fortunes of an innocent young priest as he enters a world of moral decadence, sexual intrigue and corruption.

A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

The House of Ulloa

Emilia Pardo Bazán (and others)

A rich and unforgettable tragic-comic novel of sexual intrigue and political scheming, The House of Ulloa is one of the greatest works of nineteenth-century Spanish literature.

The House of Ulloa follows pure and pious Father Julián Alvarez, who is sent to a remote country estate to put the affairs of the marquis, an irresponsible libertine, in order. When he discovers moral decadence, cruelty and corruption at his new home, Julián's well-meaning but ineffectual attempts to prevent the fall of the House of Ulloa end in tragedy. Combining gothic elements with humour and social satire, The House of Ulloa is the finest achievement of Emilia Pardo Bazán, a prolific writer, feminist, traveller and intellectual, and one of the most dynamic figures of her time.

Brilliantly balancing biting satire and gothic undertones, and evoking a rich sense of place, this is a wonderful novel that deserves to be ranked with the other great books of the period.

The Countess Emilia Pardo Bazán was born in 1851 and married at sixteen. After separating from her husband, she embarked on an affair with novelist Benito Pérez Galdós. The House of Ulloa (1886) is generally considered as her masterpiece among her many literary works.

Professor Paul O'Prey is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Roehampton, London.

Lucia Graves has translated works by Robert Graves, Anaïs Nin, Katherine Mansfield and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and is the author of a memoir, A Woman Unknown, and a novel, The Memory House.

'An absolutely first-rate novelist [...] Bazán's genius lies in the way she mixes comedy, farce, realism and heightened-pitch hysteria with a dash of gothic [...] People may travel by donkey in this book, but it could have been written yesterday' - Nick Lezard, Guardian

'Pardo Bazán's mastery of social types and of the political currents that swirled around the liberal revolution are unsurpassed in Spanish literature ... O'Prey and Graves ... avoid awkward literalisms while nonetheless remaining true to the spirit of the original' New Criterion

Biography

The countess Emilia Pardo Bazán was born in 1851 and married at the age of sixteen. But rather than following the usual path of an upper-class woman of the time, she became interested in politics and philosophy, separated from her husband, travelled widely, had an affair with the writer Benito Pérez Galdós and started writing herself. The House of Ulloa (1886) is generally considered to be her masterpiece. She died in 1921.