Between 1808 and the mid-1820s, Spaniards struggled to liberate their country from French rule while also fighting to retain control over their vast American empire. Spain's War of Independence eventually led to the French evacuation of the Iberian Peninsula and the restoration of the Bourbon monarch Ferdinand VII in 1814, but the wars in the Americas were much more tortuous. A Spanish Prisoner in the Ruins of Napoleon's Empire offers a rare primary document from this period, the journal of Fernando Blanco White. As a Spaniard whose family made its fortune in trade in Seville--historically Spain's vital link to the American empire--Blanco White experienced the turmoil of this time period, both as a prisoner of war and as a free man. His diary offers personal insights into how people in Europe and across its global empires coped with these profound transformations.Taken prisoner by the French in 1809, Blanco White fled from captivity in 1814. Along with other Spanish escapees, he traversed Switzerland, the Rhineland, and the Netherlands before finally setting sail for England. Unlike most of his countrymen, who were quickly whisked back to Spain, Blanco White stayed in England for two years, during which time he composed his account of his flight across Europe. His diary offers gripping, witty, and sometimes cranky accounts of this time, as he records rich descriptions of places he passed through, his companions and fellow Spaniards, and his many encounters with soldiers and civilians. He writes vividly about his imprisonment, his fear of recapture, his renewed exercise of autonomy, and the inverse, his "slavery"--a term he employs in evocative fashion to describe both his captivity at the hands of the French and the condition of Spaniards more generally under the absolutist Bourbon monarchy. Never before published, Blanco White's diary tracks firsthand the Spanish experience of war, captivity, and flight during the War of Independence.
This book analyses teachers' social movements during the Spanish transition to democracy, between 1970 and 1985. It shows how ordinary teachers struggled to liberate their country's education system from the legacy of dictatorship. It explores their organizations, the paths of action they chose and their interaction with the disintegrating autocracy and the emerging democracy. In addition to analyzing the national aspects of their initiatives it follows their grass-roots activities in two local contexts, the fast growing metropolitan city of Madrid and the backward rural province of Salamanca. It thus combines a general evaluation of the phenomenon with intimate glances at the people who drove it forward. The success of the transition, the book argues, was due not only to the manoeuvrings of political leaders, nor to poplar protests in the streets, but was instead a common civic effort. By vindicating the importance of democratic professionals it thus illuminates the Spanish transition to democracy from a new angle.
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist The captivating and definitive account of the Great Lisbon Earthquake--the most consequential natural disaster of modern times. On All Saints' Day 1755, tremors from an earthquake measuring approximately 9.0 or perhaps higher on the magnitude scale swept furiously toward Lisbon, then one of the wealthiest cities in the world and the capital of a vast global empire. Within minutes, much of the city lay in ruins. A half hour later, a giant tsunami unleashed by the quake smashed into Portugal's coastline and barreled up the Tagus River, carrying countless thousands out to sea. To complete Lisbon's destruction, a hellacious firestorm then engulfed the city's shattered remains, killing thousands more and incinerating much of what the earthquake and tsunami had spared. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, the latest scientific research, and a sophisticated grasp of European history, Mark Molesky gives us the gripping, authoritative account of the Great Lisbon Earthquake disaster and its impact on the Western world--including descriptions of the world's first international relief effort, the rise of a brutal, yet modernizing, dictatorship in Portugal, and the effect of the catastrophe on the spirit and direction of the European Enlightenment.
What do clothing, bathing, or dining habits reveal about one's personal religious beliefs? Nothing, of course, unless such outward bodily concerns are perceived to hold some sort of spiritual significance. Such was the case in the multireligious world of medieval Spain, where the ways in which one dressed, washed, and fed the body were seen as potential indicators of religious affiliation. True faith might be a matter of the soul, but faith identity could also literally be worn on the sleeve or reinforced through performance of the most intimate functions of daily life.
The significance of these practices changed over time in the eyes of Christian warriors, priests, and common citizens who came to dominate all corners of the Iberian peninsula by the end of the fifteenth century. Certain "Moorish" fashions occasionally crossed over religious lines, while visits to a local bathhouse and indulgence in a wide range of exotic foods were frequently enjoyed by Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. Yet at the end of the Middle Ages, attitudes hardened. With the fall of Granada, and the eventual forced baptism of all Spain's remaining Muslims, any perceived retention of traditional "Moorish" lifestyles might take on a sinister overtone of disloyalty and resistance. Distinctive clothing choices, hygienic practices, and culinary tastes could now lead to charges of secret allegiance to Islam. Repressive legislation, inquisitions, and ultimately mass deportations followed.
To Live Like a Moor traces the many shifts in Christian perceptions of Islam-associated ways of life which took place across the centuries between early Reconquista efforts of the eleventh century and the final expulsions of Spain's converted yet poorly assimilated Morisco population in the seventeenth. Using a wealth of social, legal, literary, and religious documentation in this, her last book, Olivia Remie Constable revealed the complexities and contradictions underlying a historically notorious transition from pluralism to intolerance.
In Treating the Public, Rachael Ball presents a comparative history of commercial theater, public opinion, and charitable organizations in eight cities across the Spanish and Anglo-Atlantic worlds during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This innovative study uncovers the rapid expansion of public drama into urban daily life in the Spanish Atlantic, revealing the means by which men and women provided and sought theatrical entertainment while practicing Catholic piety and working to aid the poor. Ball focuses her analysis on the theaters of Madrid, Seville, Mexico City, and Puebla de los Angeles, which she compares to English-speaking theaters throughout the Atlantic world in cities and towns including London, Bristol, Dublin, and Williamsburg, Virginia.Ball shows how the corrales de comedias, or inn-yard theaters, became staples of city life throughout Spain and the Spanish Atlantic. This development stemmed, she argues, from a tremendous output of dramatic works and from the theaters' charitable activities that included donating a percentage of admission fees to hospitals and orphanages. As a result, groups like theatrical companies, religious lay brotherhoods, city leaders, and hospitals forged collaborative relationships which at once allowed the corrales to flourish and protected theaters as charitable institutions. Ball highlights the uniqueness of this system by contrasting it with public drama in England, where financial dependence on courtly and noble patronage slowed the spread of regular theatrical performances to provincial cities and colonial centers. Using an array of archival and print sources, Ball links the largely disconnected national histories of Spanish, English, and colonial American theaters. Treating the Public uncovers the depth of the comedia tradition that flourished in early modern Spain as well as the geographic scope of the Spanish theater as a political, social, and cultural institution.
Unearthing Franco's Legacy: Mass Graves and the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain addresses the political, cultural, and historical debate that has ensued in Spain as a result of the recent discovery and exhumation of mass graves dating from the years during and after the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The victor, General Francisco Franco, ruled as a dictator for thirty-six years, during which time he and his supporters had thousands of political dissidents or suspects and their families systematically killed and buried in anonymous mass graves. Although Spaniards living near the burial sites realized what was happening, the conspiracy of silence imposed by the Franco regime continued for many years after his death in 1975 and after the establishment of a democratic government. While the people of Germany, France, and Italy have confronted the legacies of the repressive regimes that came to power in those countries during the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, the unearthing of the anonymous dead in Spain has focused attention on how Spaniards have only recently begun to revisit their past and publicly confront Franco's legacy. The essays by historians, anthropologists, literary scholars, journalists, and cultural analysts gathered here represent the first interdisciplinary analysis of how present-day Spain has sought to come to terms with the violence of Franco's regime. Their contributions comprise an important example of how a culture critiques itself while mining its collective memory.
For anyone interested in understanding the lasting impact of the Spanish Civil War on contemporary society, Unearthing Franco's Legacy is required reading. The editors of this book have brought together, and placed in constructive dialogue, a comprehensive group of international authors whose contributions result in a sweeping and devastating account of the war's deep wounds on individual lives and collective histories. Meticulously studying Franco's policies, their impact on the war's victims, and representations of the war's stories, both those unearthed and others that continue to be buried, this book makes terribly clear that the Spanish Civil War and its memory continue to teach us lessons about the responsibility of scholarship in deciphering the complexities of the past. --Jordana Mendelson, New York University
Unearthing Franco's Legacy is a timely contribution to a subject that has provoked serious discussion both in Spain and abroad. The scholars and practitioners whose work is represented in this volume address the issue of historical memory from different disciplinary angles, and the interdisciplinarity of the approaches adds much to the book's value and to the debates that persist regarding this topic. -- David T. Gies, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish, University of Virginia
In January, 1933, workers who were part of the CNT (National Work Confederation) marched in the streets, demonstrating and believing that they were starting a revolution. Somehow during the demonstrations, two guards were wounded. The government's attempt to stamp out such revolutionary zeal came to a tragic head and twenty-four people died during the incident. The violence at Casas Viejas contributed to the uprising three years later that became the Spanish Civil War. This book is a brilliant mix between a journalist report and an account of Spain's social, economic and political history.
After World War II, Norman Lewis returned to Spain and settled in the remote fishing village of Farol, on what is now Costa Brava. Voices of the Old Sea describes his three successive summers in that almost medieval community where life revolved around the seasonal sardine catches, Alcade's bar, and satisfying feuds with neighboring villages. It's lucky Lewis was there when he was. Soon after, Spain was discovered by its neighbors in a more prosperous northern Europe, and the tourist tide that ensued flowed inexorably over the old ways of the town and its inhabitants.