Tales of the Alhambraby Washington Irving combines description, myth, and fantastical tales, as well as narrations of real historical events. Shortly after completing a biography of Christopher Columbus in 1828, Washington Irving travelled from Madrid, where he had been staying, to Granada, Spain. At first sight, he described it as ‘a most picturesque and beautiful city, situated in one of the loveliest landscapes that I have ever seen.’ He immediately asked the then-governor of the historic Alhambra Palace as well as the archbishop of Granada for access to the palace, which was granted because of Irving’s celebrity status. Aided by a 35-year-old guide named Mateo Ximenes, Irving was inspired by his experience to write Tales of the Alhambra. The book was instrumental in reintroducing the Alhambra to Western audiences and serves an ongoing inspiration for authors and filmmakers, centuries after its publication. In 2017, a Spanish animation mini-series was produced featuring some of the tales from the book: The Arab AstrologerThe Three Beautiful Princesses and The Rose of the Alhambra.

This new illustrated edition from Azafran Books has been formatted, edited, and redesigned for the contemporary reader.