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Tirant lo Blanch

Tirant lo Blanch (English: Tirant the White, the main character of the romance), written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell, and published in Valencia on November 20, 1468. It is one of the most important books of Catalan literature and has been described as one of the best books ever written. It is considered a major influence for Miguel de Cervantes' book, Don Quixote de la Mancha, which was written a century later.

There are a lot of studies about Tirant lo Blanch, and comparisons between Tirant lo Blanch and El Quijote de la Mancha show many parts that are similar between the two books. The Castilian author said "as far as style is concerned, this is the best book in the world". Although regarded as a masterpiece of late Medieval literature, it is not commonly known now, but it was a success and reprinted and translated or plagiarised many times during the 16th century.

During the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries the Catalan language was important in the Mediterranean region.

Tirant lo Blanch is a story about a knight - Tirant - from Brittany, who has a series of adventures across Europe (he joins in knightly competitions in England and France) until the Emperor of the Greeks asks him to help in the war against the Turks. Tirant accepts, is made Megaduke of the Empire, becomes the captain of an army, defeats the Turks and saves the Empire, then battles Moors in many regions of the Oriental Mediterranean and Northern Africa, but dies just before he can marry the pretty heiress of the Empire.

Some parts of Tirant bear certain parallels with the life of Admiral Roger de Flor, the leader of the Almogāvers (Catalan and Aragonese mercenaries that helped the Byzantine Empire to fight the Turks), and who was murdered by the Byzantines.

The loss of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire (1453) was considered at the time to be a major blow to Christian Europe. So, in way, in writing his novel Martorell rewrote history to fit how he wanted it to be.