Garcilaso de la Vega’s love life seemed to be very well known and, in general, no-one was concerned about reexploring his steps on earth. However, the discovery of an important childhood sweetheart some years ago led to the conclusion that very little was actually known about him. The vast network of Spanish archives was waiting for someone to open many of its dusty pages and gradually get to the bottom of the Toledan’s passionate experiences in regard to his love life. And it was in this way that, file after file, the women who filled his life and gave rise to his verses appeared. After Guiomar Carrillo, Beatriz de Sá, his impossible Portuguese love returned, and, finally, after much investigation and fitting together the pieces of his biography, Camila, the shepherdess who was related to him and hidden to all, eventually emerged. Now the puzzle is complete and none of the fundamental pieces are missing, Garcilaso’s amorous biography is offered to us with all of its emotion and immortality.
The Toledan poet lived a number of significant historic moments during his short lifetime: the end of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella; the coming of Philip the Handsome to the throne and his early death; the passing of the Crown on to his son Charles; the designation of the latter as Emperor of Germany; the uprising of the Communities and the implication of the Laso Family; the subsequent terms of imprisonment; the war against France; the Emperor Charles’s wedding in Seville and his coronation in Bologna; the Turkish attacks; the expedition and conquest of Tunisia; the monarch’s return via Sicily, Naples and Rome; the appropriation of the Duchy of Savoy by the French king, etc. All this, as well as a discussion of the poet’s family and courtly circle, will form the basis of this lecture.