With the objective of creating a more complete edition of the Poema de Mio Cid than that of Tomás Antonio Sánchez, Venezuelanborn Andrés Bello began his Cidian studies shortly after his arrival to London in 1810, though his related scholarship would endure intermittently until his final years in Santiago. His work on the medieval text facilitated his acquaintance with Velorado’s Crónica del Cid, where anecdotes of the Cid’s bastardy were raised yet refuted, and prompted his analysis of the Roman law practices that had informed Alfonso el Sabio’s Siete Partidas. The latter would come to serve as a primary source for Chile’s Código Civil designed largely under Bello’s direction. The resulting posthumous edition of Bello’s work on the Cid included selections of Velorado’s chronicle, Bello’s notes to the chronicle, his “correjida” gest, his notes to the gest, two appendices and a glossary. It curiously treated the questioned birth status of the Cid as well as his daughters’ representations as “barraganas.” As Bello was illegitimately conceived himself and was rumored to have fathered illegitimate children in both England and Chile, Bello’s treatment of the illegitimacy issues in his persistent examination of the medieval gest, and the prescriptions on filiation crafted for the Civil Code regarding the voluntary parental recognition of illegitimate offspring and the abolishment of paternity suits, arguably gain significance when read concomitantly with Bello’s biographical accounts. This dialogue ultimately affects the interpretation of Bello as an introspective literary and legal figure plagued by his own affairs.


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pp. 17-35
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