Project History

The main impulse for this project derives form a meeting at the 2005 International Medieval Congress, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, with a group of fellow Iberian medievalists, participating in a panel led by María Bullón-Fernández, University of Seattle, all stressing the need for an English translation of Fernão Lopes’s chronicles. Encouraged by the interest expressed by her colleagues in the United States, Dr. Amélia Hutchinson, then Lecturer at the University of Georgia, GA, contacted Professor Teresa Amado, world-renowned Lopesian specialist at the University of Lisbon, who  had for many years been thinking of such an initiative and who had started establishing contacts with specialists to that end.

 

          The main hurdles were the magnitude of the corpus, over sixteen hundred pages, and the complexity of the work, which required a team of translators equipped for the challenge. The French translation of the Crónica de D. Pedro, the shortest of the four chronicles, published with the title of Chronique du roi D. Pedro in 1985, had taken Jacqueline Steunou over ten years to complete. To guarantee the conclusion of an English translation of the three chronicles in a much shorter time, Hutchinson and Amado invited a group of fellow scholars and translators of medieval Portuguese, some of them Lopesian specialists in their own right, and secured a publisher willing to accept an undertaking of this magnitude. Most of the translators are British, but the team also includes fellow American scholars.

           

          Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, UK, and  Rochester, NY, well-known publisher in Medieval Studies and the Humanities, readily welcomed the project, encouraged by the late Professor Alan Deyermond, member of their advisory board and internationally acclaimed medievalist, who immediately recognized the significance and prestige of the Project. On July 7, 2009, Amélia Hutchinson had an inuagural planning meeting with Ms. Elspeth Ferguson, Tamesis Commissioning Editor, and Professor Alan Deyermond. Sadly, Professor Deyermond passed away shortly after this meeting. The completion of the project will be a worthy tribute to his vision and support. The translation will now be published under the guidance of Scott Mahler, the present Tamesis Commissioning Editor and Managing Editor. Boydell & Brewer’s long experience in publishing medieval texts guarantees a quality edition, planned for early 2015. 

 

          Also in  2009, the Direcção Geral do Livro e Bibliotecas, Portugal, offered a grant to initiate the project. Dr. Patrícia Anne Odber de Baubeta, Senior Lecturer in Portuguese in the Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Birmingham, UK, a medievalist and translator of early Portuguese texts, offered the University of Birmingham for logistic support and as a venue for the Project's annual meetings. In June 2010 the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a substantial grant to complete the Project and build the present supporting website. Without the recognition of the inherent value of this undertaking and the trust placed on the members of the team, the Fernão Lopes Translation project would not have been possible.

 

          Sadly and most unexpectedly, though with nearly 90% of the translation completed, Professor Teresa Amado passed away on August 5, 2013. In April of the following year, this Project also suffered the sad loss of Professor Clive Willis, responsible for 43% of the translation and a thorough stylistic revision. The legacy of these esteemed and much admired colleagues, however, will be neither wasted nor forgotten, and all members of the Project are more determined than ever to bring this monumental translation project to a successful conclusion. Dedication of the Project will be a lasting homage to the memory of Professor Amado's life of study, research and ground-breaking publications devoted to Fernão Lopes and his chronicles, and to Professor Willis as an outstanding scholar and gifted translator. Without them this Project would truly not have been possible.

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