10 January 2019, The Tablet

Speed reading


Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900) is considered Portugal’s greatest novelist. The Crime of Father Amaro (Dedalus, £11.99; Tablet price £10.79), first published in 1875, paints a richly humorous if unflattering picture of the inhabitants of a provincial Portuguese town, Leiria.

Fr Amaro, a young priest, short on clerical vocation, lusts for his landlady’s daughter, who reciprocates. Eça is acute in portraying human foibles as well the pomposities of politicians and radicals.

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