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Interesting historical figures in Spain for biography reading?

Interesting historical figures in Spain for biography reading?

Oct 19th, 2002, 11:26 AM
  #1  
Tahl
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Interesting historical figures in Spain for biography reading?

I'd like to get "into" Spanish history by finding interesting people to read about. This has worked great for me with other countries (England = Richard III; Ireland = Michael Collins; etc). I generally prefer reading fairly recent history -- easier to track down historical sites! -- and love reading about people who are sympathetic but not totally so.

Any recommendations about particularly interesting people in Spanish history?
 
Oct 19th, 2002, 12:24 PM
  #2  
student
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You can't miss by reading about the Spanish Civil War - decades later it's still a huge part of Spain's psyche. Start with Franco, maybe read some of Garcia Lorca's poens or plays, watch the movie The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, the movie Bienvenido Mr. Marshall is great too.
I find Catherine of Aragon fascinating although she isn't recent. My all-time favorite is Felipe II, especially if you have a trip to the Escorial planned.

 
Oct 19th, 2002, 05:12 PM
  #3  
Marc David Miller
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As student recommended, Franco's life is an interesting way of illustrating the first 3/4 of the 20th century in Spain, and the best biography is "Franco: A Biography" by Paul Preston (although the writer hates his subject). Unfortunately there aren't yet any definitive biographies of Juan Carlos (or of his father), who equally illustrates the fall of the monarchy, facism and finally the birth of democracy in Spain.
 
Oct 19th, 2002, 06:04 PM
  #4  
Graziella
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A Great Queen and great woman , read about Isabel of Castille, the First Renaissance Queen.
There is a good book by Nancy Rubin and many others, like the trilogy by Jean Plaidy.
Caherine the Aragon was her younger daughter and also an interesting life to read about as Student points out, but it was Isabel the real statewoman.
Mistakes? Yes but many fascinating deeds . In my opinion Anglo saxon historians have not been fair to her, while being over occupied writing about Elizabeth. Tudor.
 
Oct 19th, 2002, 06:48 PM
  #5  
Leslie
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Try "Tales of The Alhambra" by Washington Irving. It was written over 170 years ago, but if you are going to the Alhambra in Granada, it is a definite must read. It's available in newer editions.
 
Oct 21st, 2002, 12:45 PM
  #6  
CathyM
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I'll second Graziella's recommendation of reading about Isabel of Castille. I read the trilogy on her life by Jean Plaidy and it made my first trip to spain mean so much especially when I visited Segovia , Granada and other important places in Isabel's life. Jean Plaidy also has a large volume just on the Inquisition that I would like to read.
 
Oct 21st, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #7  
Graziella
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Hi CathyM, nice to know that we also share an interest in Isabel of Castille as well as in the Posada Regia de Leon, and thirdly in Girona, when you have the time remmber to mail the name of the Hostal,will you?Muchas gracias.
 

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