This is a study of medieval Spain and its historians, from the chroniclers of the middle ages to the revisionists of the post-Franco era. The history of medieval Spain has long been perceived as a tale of original sin followed by a long-drawn-out process of atonement. History and the Historians of Medieval Spain traces the development of that perception. It is a formidably researched tour de force which reveals history in the making during the
eight hundred years which separated the end of the Roman period from what is now described as the birth of the modern state. In the differing aspirations of the inventors of the past both then and now
- from the restoration of Toledo's Visigothic hegemony in the 1240s to the feudalization of medieval Castile and the sacralization of its kings since the death of Franco - an underlying sense of purpose emerges. In their contest for control of the present through mastery of the past, and the expression of their local loyalties, the historians of the seventh to the fourteenth centuries and the authors of the False Chronicles in the early 1600s have their counterparts in the contemporary Spain of
'This is an intriguing book. Lengthy and witty, Linehan's book is nevertheless primarily a work of formidable scholarship. Linehan has an unrivalled grasp of the early medieval Church and its doings.'
Times Literary Supplement
'The theme of this notable book is the manipulation of Spain's medieval history by Spanish historians, then or later. In the course of his ample investigations, impeccably researched, cogently and often wittingly presented, he succeeds in this aim and offers us a great deal more besides. This is a weighty and distinguished contribution not merely to Spanish medieval studies but to the history of historiography at large. This splendid book deserves to be
R.A. Fletcher, University of York, EHR Jun '94
`This vast book is a study of medieval Spain between the end of the Roman period and the fourteenth century, and its historians, from the chroniclers of the middle ages to the post-Franco era.'
The Medieval World
`This is an immensely learned book, which displays great sophistication within a very restricted area ... the persistent student may learn a great deal from what he has to say ... This book may, therefore, be recommended for its learning, at times for its wit, and for some mordant characterizations of major episodes in Spanish medieval history.'
John Edwards, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1, Apr '96