By Richard L. Kagan
Monarchs in the course of the a while have commissioned authentic histories that forged their reigns in a positive mild for destiny generations. those money owed, sanctioned and supported by way of the ruling executive, frequently gloss over the extra debatable elements of a king's or queen's time at the throne. as a substitute, they current hugely selective and optimistic readings of a monarch's contribution to nationwide identification and worldwide affairs. In Clio and the Crown, Richard L. Kagan examines the authentic histories of Spanish monarchs from medieval instances to the center of the 18th century. He expertly courses readers throughout the other kinds of reliable histories commissioned: these whose fundamental concentration was once the monarch; those who founded at the Spanish country as a complete; and those who celebrated Spain's conquest of the recent international. In doing so, Kagan additionally files the lifestyles and paintings of person courtroom chroniclers, examines adjustments within the perform of legit heritage, and highlights the political machinations that stimulated the redaction of such histories. simply as international leaders this day depend upon 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 smooth Spain. Monarchs usually went to nice lengths to exert entire keep watch over over the professional background in their reign, bodily intimidating historians, destroying and seizing manuscripts and books, rewriting previous histories, and limiting background writing to licensed people. nonetheless, the bigger perform of background writing as carried out by means 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 authentic histories contributed, even if imperfectly, to the perform of historiography itself.
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