Spain and Portugal
Paperback ISBN: 0674060334
[Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html)([Part I](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html) and [Part II](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/elephants-of-rome-interview-with-mary.html)) The Alhambra has long been a byword for exotic and melancholy beauty. In his absorbing new book, Robert Irwin, Arabist and novelist, examines its history and allure. The Alhambra is the only Muslim palace to have survived since the Middle Ages. Built by a threatened dynasty of Muslim Spain, it was preserved as a monument to the triumph of Christianity. Every day thousands of tourists enter this magnificent site to be awestruck by its towers and courts, its fountained gardens, its honeycombed ceilings and intricate tile work. It is a complex full of mysteries--even its purpose is unclear. Its sophisticated ornamentation is not indiscriminate but full of hidden meaning. Its most impressive buildings were designed not by architects, but by philosophers and poets. The Alhambra, which resembles a fairy-tale palace, was constructed by slave labor in an era of economic decline, plague, and political violence. Its sumptuously appointed halls have lain witness to murder and mayhem. Yet its influence on art and on literature--including Orientalist painting and the architecture of cinemas, Washington Irving and Jorge Luis Borges--has been lasting and significant. As our guide to this architectural masterpiece, Robert Irwin allows us to fully understand the impact of the Alhambra.
Pearls and the Nature of Empire, 1492-1700
Hardcover ISBN: 1469638975
Pearls have enthralled global consumers since antiquity, and the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella explicitly charged Columbus with finding pearls, as well as gold and silver, when he sailed westward in 1492. American Baroquecharts Spain's exploitation of Caribbean pearl fisheries to trace the genesis of its maritime empire. In the 1500s, licit and illicit trade in the jewel gave rise to global networks, connecting the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean to the pearl-producing regions of the Chesapeake and northern Europe. Pearls—a unique source of wealth because of their renewable, fungible, and portable nature—defied easy categorization. Their value was highly subjective and determined more by the individuals, free and enslaved, who produced, carried, traded, wore, and painted them than by imperial decrees and tax-related assessments. The irregular baroque pearl, often transformed by the imagination of a skilled artisan into a fantastical jewel, embodied this subjective appeal. Warsh blends environmental, social, and cultural history to construct microhistories of peoples' wide-ranging engagement with this deceptively simple jewel. Pearls facilitated imperial fantasy and personal ambition, adorned the wardrobes of monarchs and financed their wars, and played a crucial part in the survival strategies of diverse people of humble means. These stories, taken together, uncover early modern conceptions of wealth, from the hardscrabble shores of Caribbean islands to the lavish rooms of Mediterranean palaces.
Anarchism and the City
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Barcelona, 1898-1937
Paperback ISBN: 1849350124
Anarchism and the City is a fascinating look at four decades of tension preceding the Spanish Civil War, and the actors in competition for control of social and economic space in the expanding industrial city of Barcelona—host to the largest anarchist movement in Europe's history. This history "from below" examines the burgeoning public sphere of working-class life and its relationship to the State, industrial bourgeoisie, and professional classes. Unemployment, rent strikes, and rising food prices are the backdrop to this laboratory of emergent urbanism. Chris Ealham is a lecturer at Saint Louis University in Madrid and co-editor of The Splintering of Spain.
Anatomia de un instante / Anatomy of a Moment
Spanish Paperback ISBN: 849908236x
The Armada Campaign 1588
The Great Enterprise Against England
Paperback ISBN: 1841761923
The thwarted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada is studied here in fascinating detail. How, in a few short days, Philip II's fleet was stopped from invading England and forced into full retreat is looked at in a new and unique way. With the help of battle plans and bird's eye views of the action, leading historian Angus Konstam considers many of the intriguing questions surrounding the campaign, concluding with details of how the Armada's disastrous return voyage around Scotland and Ireland became one of the most tragic episodes in maritime history.
Barcelona the Great Enchantress
Paperback ISBN: 1426201311
A frequent visitor who has been going to Barcelona regularly for nearly forty years offers a personal chronicle of the city, from his explanations of fourteenth-century architectural treasures to the years leading up to and beyond the 1992 Summer Olympics. Reprint.