La Regenta is special for its great wealth of characters and secondary stories, while the main character's description is left slightly unfocused and vague. On the other hand, the downfall of the provincial lady has place amidst two very diverse suitors: the most handsome man in the city, who triumphs in the end, and the cathedral's priest. The depiction of this priest is a key part of the book.
For the description of the provincial atmosphere and the city's collective life, Clarín used techniques such as the internal monologue or the free indirect style, which makes the story be narrated by the characters themselves and allows the reader to penetrate in their intimacy.
Clarín remains a rather enigmatic figure in the Spanish literary world, leaving a legacy that encouraged the search for God and humanism simultaneously. This aberrant confluence has facilitated the presence of various interpretations regarding the author's writings, most noticeably of his masterpiece, La Regenta.
This Spanish edition contains the two original volumes of La Regenta with a prologue by Benito Pérez Galdós.
Leopoldo Alas, "Clarín" (1852 - 1901). His only other novel is Su único hijo (1891).
John Rutherford is a fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford, where he teaches Spanish, Spanish-American, and Galician language and literature. He has also translated Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes for Penguin Classics. For the translation of La Regenta he was decorated in 1984 by King Juan Carlos of Spain with the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes.