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The Mirror of Spain, 1500-1700: The Formation of a Myth
by Jocelyn N. Hillgarth
University of Michigan Press, 2000
Cloth: 978-0-472-11092-6
Library of Congress Classification DP171.5.H54 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 946.04

In this major new work, J. N. Hillgarth investigates how Spain was seen by non-Spaniards in the period when it was the leading power in Europe. The author brings together a wide range of sources that elucidate Spanish history and Spanish character. He demonstrates the ways that propaganda has distorted both these things in the past and even continues to do so in the present.
In the first of the volume's four parts, the author discusses the reasons--geographic, political, and religious--why Spain has proved a hard country to understand. Hillgarth looks at travelers to Spain, from pilgrims to diplomats, spies, exiles, and foreign residents. In its second part, special attention is devoted to the interaction between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, including Jewish and Muslim exiles and secret Jews within Spain.
In its third section, The Mirror of Spain explores reactions to Spain by those who saw it from the outside, the Italians, Dutch, French, and English. One chapter deals with the English, Scottish, and Irish Catholics, who, like the Jewish and Muslim exiles, played a double role in that they were at once "insiders" and outsiders. Finally, Hillgarth attempts to show how two crucial centuries have affected the way Spain has been seen down to the present.
The Mirror of Spain draws on a wide range of sources in different languages. It relies on documents in the Public Record Office and the British Library, the Archivo General de Simancas and the collections of the colleges founded by exiles in Spain, and on major libraries in Venice and Jerusalem. The volume will be of interest to a broad spectrum of scholars--to medievalists, historians of Spain, scholars of political and literary thought, and all those interested in notions of national identity.
J. N. Hillgarth has taught for many years at the University of Toronto and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and has received awards and honors from a wide variety of distinguished institutions in Europe and North America.

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