Emilia Pardo Bazan was Spain's leading woman novelist of the late nineteenth century. A champion of women's rights, she led an unconventional private life, including an affair with Gald6s in 1889-90, shortly before this review was written. Recent feminist critics have not gone much beyond Pardo Bazan's lucid analysis of the novel's contradictory depiction of the position of woman. She rightly spots the feminist potential of the novel (largely excised from Bufiuel's film version of the same name), but also rightly notices how Gald6s I amputates' this potential by arbitrarily cutting off Tristana's leg. Particularly perceptive is Pardo Bazan's observation that, by turning Tristana's quest for independence into a love story, Gald6s fails to see what women's emancipation is about. The one point on which the modern reader is likely to disagree is her objection to the fact that the character of Don Lope evolves from Calderonian stereotype to an ambiguous complicity in Tristana's affair with another man: it could be argued that, by showing male-tolerance to be a more effective weapon than tyranny, Gald6s is making a particularly subtle point about the workings of patriarchal power.