Clio and the Crown by Richard L. Kagan

By Richard L. Kagan

Monarchs in the course of the a long time have commissioned professional histories that forged their reigns in a good mild for destiny generations. those debts, sanctioned and supported via the ruling govt, usually gloss over the extra debatable features of a king's or queen's time at the throne. as a substitute, they current hugely selective and confident readings of a monarch's contribution to nationwide id and worldwide affairs. In Clio and the Crown, Richard L. Kagan examines the respectable histories of Spanish monarchs from medieval instances to the center of the 18th century. He expertly publications readers throughout the other forms of legitimate histories commissioned: these whose fundamental concentration used to be the monarch; those who founded at the Spanish nation as an entire; and those who celebrated Spain's conquest of the recent global. In doing so, Kagan additionally files the lifestyles and paintings of person courtroom chroniclers, examines alterations within the perform of legitimate historical past, and highlights the political machinations that motivated the redaction of such histories. simply as international leaders at the present time depend upon fast-talking press officials to give an explanation for their occasionally questionable activities to the general public, so too did the kings and queens of medieval and early glossy Spain. Monarchs usually went to nice lengths to exert whole keep an eye on over the reputable background in their reign, bodily intimidating historians, destroying and seizing manuscripts and books, rewriting previous histories, and proscribing historical past writing to licensed individuals. nonetheless, the bigger perform of historical past writing as carried out via nonroyalist historians, a number of students and writers, or even church historians supplied a corrective to authentic histories. Kagan concludes that regardless of its blemishes, the writing of legitimate histories contributed, although imperfectly, to the perform of historiography itself.

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