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Pascual de Gayangos (1809-97) celebrated Spanish Orientalist and polymath, is recognised as the father of the modern school of Arabic studies in Spain. He gave Islamic Spain its own voice, for the first time representing Spain's 'other' from 'within' not from without. This collection, the first major study of Gayangos, celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth. Covering a wide range of subjects, it reflects the multiple fields in which Gayangos was involved: scholarship on the culture of Islamic and Christian Spain; history, literature, art; conservation and preservation of national heritage; formation of archives and collections; education; tourism; diplomacy and politics. Amalgamating and understanding Gayangos's multiple identities, it reinstates his importance for cultural life in nineteenth-century Spain, Britain and North America. It is also argued that Gayangos's scholarly achievements and his influence have a political dimension. His work must be seen in relation to the quest for a national identity which marked the nineteenth century: what was the significance of Spain's Islamic past, and the Imperial Golden Age to the culture of modern Spain? The chapters, informed by post-colonial theory, reception theory and theories of national identity, uncover some of the complexities of the process that shaped Spain's national identity. In the course of this book, Gayangos is shown to be a figure with many facets and several intellectual lives: Arabist, historian, liberal, researcher, editor, numismatist, traveller, translator, diplomat, perhaps a spy, a generous collaborator and one of Spain's greatest bibliophiles.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780748635474
ISBN-10: 0748635475
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 20mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Cristina Alvarez Millan

Cristina Alvarez Millan is a Research Fellow in the Department of Medieval History at the UNED (Madrid). An Arabist, and a former Research Fellow at the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine (London), she specialises in medieval Islamic Medicine. She was involved with research into the Oriental Collection in the Real Academia de la Historia. Claudia Heide is a Part-time Lecturer in the School of Arts, Culture and Environment at the University of Edinburgh. A former research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Edinburgh, Claudia Heide currently teaches history of art in the School of Arts, Culture and Environment at the University of Edinburgh. Her special interest is Spanish culture from the Middle Ages to the present day, including its reception in Britain and North America. Gayangos' role in Anglo-American Hispanism was the subject of her Ph.D. She is collaborating in an exhibition on British artists and collectors in Spain to be held at the National Gallery of Scotland in 2009.