Spanish Romance in the Battle for Global Supremacy

Spanish Romance in the Battle for Global Supremacy

Tudor and Stuart Black Legends

By Victoria Muñoz

Anthem World Epic and Romance

By exploring England’s fanatical consumption of the so-called books of the brave conquistadors, this book shows how tales of love and arms mystified global conquest (in such places as Mexico, Peru, Guiana, California, and Australia) and rooted the idea of English empire as a civilized alternative to the cruelty of Spanish conquest.

Hardback, 242 Pages

ISBN:9781785273308

January 2021

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

Did Spanish explorers really discover the sunken city of Atlantis or one of the lost tribes of Israel in the site of Aztec Mexico? Did classical writers foretell the discovery of America? Was Baja California really an island or a peninsula—and did romances of chivalry contain the answer? Were Amazon women hiding in Guiana and where was the location of the fabled golden city, El Dorado? Who was more powerful, Apollo or Diana, and which claimant nation, Spain or England, would win the game of empire? These were some of the questions English writers, historians, and polemicists asked through their engagement with Spanish romance. By exploring England’s fanatical consumption of so-called books of the brave conquistadors, this book shows how the idea of English empire took root in and through literature. 

The chapters in this book represent separate case studies regarding the use of romance strategies and tales of love and arms more generally in the imperialist myth-making of early modern England against the threat of imperial Spain, particularly those which were first used by Spanish authors to justify Spain’s own imperialist designs. With interwoven readings of Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, Ben Jonson and Peter Heylyn, this book shows how the English colonial mindset developed through a concerted conversation with the reality of Spain’s presence in the colonial world, particularly in the historically contentious sites of Mexico, Peru, Guiana, California and Australia, producing emergent discourses of English nationalism and proto-imperialism as contextually contingent responses to the Spanish problem. By uncovering long-neglected Spanish romantic influences on canonical English works, this book also tracks for the first time the unique social, political and cultural circumstances of English hysteria with Spanish romance that primed the success of Don Quixote of la Mancha in England.

Reviews

“Muñoz is a must-read for all scholars of Anglo-Spanish literature and history: her analysis of the relationships between language and genre, empire and authorship is nothing short of superb.” — Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon, Honorary Faculty Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Author Information

Victoria Muñoz is a scholar of medieval and early modern literature and culture. Her specialties include Anglo-Spanish relations during the Renaissance, early modern English and Spanish literatures, early modern religious history and its intersection with European and colonial politics.

Series

Anthem World Epic and Romance

Table of Contents

List of Figures; Acknowledgments;Prologue: Translating Romance, Empire, and Spain; The Structure of This Book; Chapter One “Books of the Brave” English: Spanish Tales of Love and Arms in Translation; Chapter Two Dream Visions and Competing Dreams: Rewriting the Spanish Model in America; Chapter Three Sun Kings and Moon Queens: The Courting and Uncourting of Spain; Chapter Four Signs of England: Redcrosse Crosses the Ancient Boundary; Chapter Five Believing Bottom’s Dream: Rationalizing Exploration from America to Australia; Chapter Six Unruly Readers: Anti- Spanish Sentiment and the Feminizing of Romance; Epilogue: Spanish Literature in England before Don Quixote; Appendix I: English Readership of Spanish Romance, By the Numbers; Selected Bibliography; Index.

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