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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Like those of Masdeu and Mu?oz already cited


exposition of the rules for

criticism and style, displayed a broad concept as to the content of history, holding that it should be expressive of the civilizations of peoples. Thus, Masdeu entitled his history _Historia cr?tica de Espa?a y de la cultura espa?ola_ (Critical history of Spain and of Spanish culture). While these ideas had been set forth by the great writers of the sixteenth century they were now predominantly held, both in Spain and in Europe generally. This was a great age for the collection and publication of documents. The already mentioned _Espa?a sagrada_ was a noteworthy example. The new Academy of History began to perform noteworthy service in this regard. Numerous copies were made and abundant notes taken by writers like Burriel (real author of the _Noticia de la California_, or Account about California, ascribed to Venegas, though a prolific writer also on subjects having nothing to do with the Americas) and Mu?oz (first archivist of the Archivo General de las Indias and author of an _Historia del nuevo mundo_, or History of the new world) whose materials still remain in great part unpublished. Reprints of old editions were brought out and foreign works translated, while vast gatherings of bibliographical data (in the shape of catalogues, dictionaries of various types of subject-matter, and regional or subject bibliographies) were made. Many works of original investigation were written, like those of Masdeu and Mu?oz already cited, or the _Vida de Carlos III_ (Life of Charles III) of
Fern?n-N??ez. A special group of legal and economic historians whose writings were very important in their bearings on the times might be made up. Mart?nez Marina was the principal historian of this class, although Burriel, Asso, Capmany, Jovellanos, Llorente, Cornejo, and Campomanes are worthy of mention. Literary history attracted the erudite. Among the works of this group were studies concerning the origin and history of the Castilian tongue, including the first dictionary of the language, published by the Academy (1726-1739), with a statement of the authorities for the sources of each word. Many of the writings of the historians already named, besides those of numerous others, had some reference to the Americas, but the colonies themselves were the source of a prolific historical literature. Kino, Arlegui, Mota Padilla, Espinosa, Villa-Se?or, Ortega, Burriel, Alegre, Baegert, Beaumont, Palou, Clavigero, Arricivita, Revilla Gigedo, and Cavo (all dealing with New Spain, or provinces of that viceroyalty) are only a few of the writers (most of them colonials) who left volumes which serve today as a rich source of materials and as an enduring monument to the names of their authors.

[Sidenote: Neo-classic influences upon polite literature.]

The regeneration of Spain made itself felt to a certain extent in the realm of polite literature, as well as in other forms of Spanish intellectual life. Cultivated men of letters were desirous of rescuing Spanish literature from the vices which had fastened upon it at the close of the seventeenth century, and they turned to the so-called neo-classic influences then dominant in western Europe, but represented more particularly by France. Ronsard, Montaigne, Corneille, and others had already begun to affect Spanish writers of the seventeenth century, and in the period of the Spanish Bourbons the works of Corneille, Racine, Marmontel, and Voltaire were offered to Spaniards in translation. The writings of other foreigners were in like manner made accessible, such as those of Alfieri, Young, and


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