Greatest Literature banner

The 55 Greatest Works of Spanish Literature

The selection of great Spanish literature is based on the same extensive research carried out for more than two decades—and continuing—for our flagship list, The Greatest Literature of All Time, and our other "greatest" lists.

This list is not about all writing in the Spanish language. Rather it is for writing by authors associated with the country of Spain and its preceding states or provinces.

Within this Spanish context, literary works of all types, genres, cultures and periods are considered.

This list focuses on major creative works—such as novels, plays, epic poetry and story collections—although some shorter or nonfiction writing of literary significance may also be included.

Latest update: January, 2024

c. 1140
The Poem of the Cid
Anonymous
Spain, long poem
1251
Calia and Dimna
Anonymous
Spain, story collection
1330–1343
The Book of Good Love
Juan Ruiz
Spain, long poem
1443–1448
Curial and Guelfa
Anonymous
Spain, novel
1476
Jorge Manrique
Verses on the Death of Don Rodrigo Manrique, His Father
Spain, poem
1499
The Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea
Fernando de Rojas
Spain, novel
1554
Lazarillo de Tormes
Anonymous
Spain, novella
1569–1589
The Araucaniad
Alonso Ercilla
Spain, long poem
1578–1591
Poems of Saint John of the Cross
Saint John of the Cross
Spain, poetry collection
1585
La Galatea
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Spain, novel
1588
The Interior Castle
Teresa of Ávila
Spain, Philosophy
1599–1604
Guzmán de Alfarache
Mateo Alemán
Spain, novel
1613
Solitudes
Luis de Góngora
Spain, long poem
1617
The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Spain, novel
1619
Lost in a Mirror
Lope de Vega
Spain, play
1626
The Swindler
Fransisco de Queveda
Spain, novel
1631
Punishment Without Revenge
Lope de Vega
Spain, play
1635
Life Is a Dream
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Spain, play
1643
The Mayor of Zalamea
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Spain, play
1871
Rimas
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Spain, poetry collection
1874
Pepita Jimenez
Juan Valera
Spain, novel
1884–1885
La Regenta
Clarín
Spain, novel
1886
The House of Ulloa
Emilia Pardo Bazán
Spain, novel
 
Compassion
Benito Pérez Galdós
Spain, novel
1887
Fortunata and Jacinta
Benito Pérez Galdós
Spain, novel
1905
Solitude
Victor Català (Caterina Albert)
Spain, novel
1907
Poems
Miguel de Unamuno
Spain, poetry collection
1914
Platero and I
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Spain, long poem
1920
Bohemian Nights
Ramón del Valle-Inclán
Spain, play
1928
Gypsy Ballads
Federico García Lorca
Spain, poetry collection
1936
Juan de Mairena
Antonio Machado
Spain, novel
1936–1962
The Reality and the Desire
Luis Cernuda
Spain, poetry collection
1938
Complete Poems
Antonio Machado
Spain, poetry collection
1940
Poet in New York
Federico García Lorca
Spain, poetry collection
1945
Nada
Carmen Laforet
Spain, novel
1945
The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Luiz Zafon
Spain, novel
1948
Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela
Spain, nonfiction
1950
The Hive
Camilo José Cela
Spain, novel
1961
Memoirs of a Peasant Boy
Xosé Neira Vilas
Spain, novel
1962
Time of Silence
Luis Martín-Santos
Spain, novel
1966
Marks of Identity
Juan Goytisolo
Spain, novel
1971
The Poetry of Luis Cernuda
Luis Cernuda
Spain, poetry collection
1975
A Mortal Spring
Francisco Umbral
Spain, novel
1978
The Back Room
Carmen Martín Gaite
Spain, novel
1979
The Southern Seas
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
Spain, novel
1983
Larva: Midsummer Night's Babel
Julián Ríos
Spain, novel
1984
Last Evenings with Teresa
Juan Marsé
Spain, novel
1988
Obabakoak
Bernardo Atxaga
Spain, novel
1989
All Souls
Javier Marías
Spain, novel
1993
The Dumas Club
Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Spain, novel
1998
The Heretic
Miguel Delibes
Spain, novel
2000
Bartleby & Co.
Enrique Vila-Matas
Spain, novel
2001
Soldiers of Salamis
Javier Cercas
Spain, novel
2011
The Infatuations
Javier Marías
Spain, novel

Back to top of page