Clio and the Crown by Richard L. Kagan

By Richard L. Kagan

Monarchs during the a long time have commissioned reputable histories that forged their reigns in a good gentle for destiny generations. those bills, sanctioned and supported through the ruling executive, usually gloss over the extra arguable points of a king's or queen's time at the throne. as an alternative, they current hugely selective and optimistic readings of a monarch's contribution to nationwide id and international affairs. In Clio and the Crown, Richard L. Kagan examines the legitimate histories of Spanish monarchs from medieval instances to the center of the 18th century. He expertly publications readers throughout the other kinds of legit histories commissioned: these whose basic concentration was once the monarch; those who founded at the Spanish state as a complete; and people who celebrated Spain's conquest of the recent international. In doing so, Kagan additionally files the lifestyles and paintings of person court docket chroniclers, examines alterations within the perform of legitimate heritage, and highlights the political machinations that motivated the redaction of such histories. simply as global leaders this present day depend on fast-talking press officials to provide an explanation for their occasionally questionable activities to the general public, so too did the kings and queens of medieval and early sleek Spain. Monarchs frequently went to nice lengths to exert entire keep watch over over the reliable background in their reign, bodily intimidating historians, destroying and seizing manuscripts and books, rewriting previous histories, and limiting heritage writing to licensed people. nonetheless, the bigger perform of heritage writing as carried out by way of nonroyalist historians, a number of students and writers, or even church historians supplied a corrective to respectable histories. Kagan concludes that regardless of its blemishes, the writing of legitimate histories contributed, notwithstanding imperfectly, to the perform of historiography itself.

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