The Lore of the Camino de Santiago

A Literary Pilgrimage
By Jean Mitchell-Lanham
10 Digit ISBN:
13 Digit ISBN: 978-1-63413-333-3
LCCN: 2015900799
Price: $19.95
Trim: 5.5x8.5
Format (pb/hc): Paperback
Pages: 202
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A contemporary review of the ancient pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago, and an indispensable read for academics and travelers alike.

People go on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage for a variety of reasons: religious, midlife crisis, a need for adventure or miracle, to visit Hemingway’s 1920s hangouts, to pay homage to Saint James . . . Author Jean Mitchell-Lanham went for all the same reasons, and then her academic and literary interests set her off on a secondary journey to dig deeper into the mysteries and timeless draw of the pilgrimage.

The result is this book: a comprehensive review—complete with academic, regional, cultural, historical, and religious facts—enhanced by one woman’s real-life journey along the popular 500-mile spiritual trek. As a detailed study of a world-renowned pilgrimage site, the book is now an indispensable read before making the pilgrimage. 

Since the rediscovery of Liber Sancti Jacobi/Codex Calixtinus, a medieval manuscript containing the twelfth-century guidebook to the Camino, along with stories of miracles, liturgical compositions, and mythological feats, the Camino pilgrimage has resurrected interest over the past several years and has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (1987). Since that time, a plethora of new guidebooks have been published and there are over 1,800 historical sites along the Camino to command the attention of history buffs, ordinary tourists, and devout pilgrims. In 2013 alone, 215,880 pilgrims visited the site.


This book gives account of the legendary tales and literature that existed during the medieval era up to present day on the pilgrim's route to Santiago starting at the foot of the Pyrenees in France.  Inclued are tales from the medieval manuscripts of the Psuedo Turpin and the Codex Calixtinus.  We travel down a road filled with stories, through towns that marketed them to their advantage. The epic poems, Chanson de Roland and El Cid along with the poetry of Alfonso the Wise are just a few of the medieval gems. We meet the 16th and 17th century picaresque novels and move right along to the beautiful poems of Rosalia de Castro in the 19th century along with her adversary, the novelist, Emilia Bazan.  We meet foreign authors too who link themselves to the Camino.  It's a literary adventure you don't want to miss.


Jean Mitchell-Lanham is a pilgrim currently living near San Francisco. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University in Romance languages and literatures with a concentration in Spanish medieval literature. She has traveled extensively worldwide and lived for extended periods of time in Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Panama. In addition to her love for foreign languages and literature, she holds a Black Belt in martial arts and is a certified assistant scuba instructor. She has dived world-wide including the South Sea Islands and Alaska photographing sea life and assisting marine biologists as a safety diver. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University in Romance languages and literatures with a concentration in Spanish medieval literature. Her other interests include adopting unwanted Dalmatians which she has done for more than 40 years. She is currently raising numbers 16 and 17.