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Professor_Henry_Kamen

Professor Henry Kamen

Professor Henry Kamen has taught and lectured at universities throughout the UK, USA and Spain and was most recently Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. His books include The Spanish Inquisition, The Phoenix and the Flame: Catalonia and the Counter-Reformation and Philip V of Spain. He lives in Barcelona.

 

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MICHAEL SISSONS & FIONA PETHERAM

E-mail: msissons@pfd.co.uk

or fpetheram@pfd.co.uk

Telephone number: 020 7344 1064


 
 
Publications
Professor Henry Kamen
 

THE ESCORIAL


Few buildings have played so central a role in Spain’s history as the monastery-palace of San Lorenzo del Escorial. Colossal in size and imposing – even forbidding – in appearance, the Escorial has invited and defied description for four centuries. Part palace, part monastery, part mausoleum, it has also served as a shrine, a school, a repository for thousands of relics, and one of the greatest libraries of its time. Constructed over the course of more than twenty years, the Escorial challenged and provoked, becoming for some a symbol of superstition and oppression, for others a ‘wonder of the world’. Now a World Heritage Site, it is visited by thousands of travellers every year. In this intriguing study, Henry Kamen looks at the circumstances that brought the young Philip II to commission construction of the Escorial in 1563. He explores Philip’s motivation, the influence of his travels, the meaning of the design, and its place in Spanish culture. It represents a highly engaging narrative of the high point of Spanish imperial dominance, in which contemporary preoccupations with art, religion, and power are analyzed in the context of this remarkable building.


PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: April 2010

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IMAGINING SPAIN


An account of the Spanish character and history through its culture.


PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: March 2008

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Professor Henry Kamen
 

THE DISINHERITED: THE EXILES WHO CREATED SPANISH CULTURE


An analytic and anecdotal narrative of the formation of Spanish culture in the western world, beginning with the Iberian peninsula, followed by its extension throughout the Atlantic world in the course of centuries and its special characteristics in Latin America and particularly in the US today.


PUBLISHER: Penguin Press

PUBLICATION DATE: March 2007

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SPAIN, 1469-1714: A SOCIETY OF CONFLICT (4th edition)

 

For nearly two centuries Spain was the world’s most influential nation, dominant in Europe and with authority over immense territories in America and the Pacific. Because none of this was achieved by its own economic or military resources, Henry Kamen sets out to explain how it achieved the unexpected status of world power, and examines political events and foreign policy through the reigns of each of the nation’s rulers, from Ferdinand and Isabella at the end of the fifteenth century to Philip V in the 1700s.

 

He explores the distinctive features that made up the Spanish experience, from the gold and silver of the New World to the role of the Inquisition and the fate of the Muslim and Jewish minorities. In an entirely re-written text, he also pays careful attention to recent work on art and culture, social development and the role of women, as well as considering the obsession of Spaniards with imperial failure, and their use of the concept of ‘decline’ to insist on a mythical past of greatness. The essential fragility of Spain’s resources, he explains, was the principal reason why it never succeeded in achieving success as an imperial power.

 

This completely updated fourth edition of Henry Kamen’s authoritative, accessible survey of Spanish politics and civilisation in the Golden Age of its world experience substantially expands the coverage of themes and takes account of the latest published research.

 

Publisher: Routledge

Publication date: 28th Match 2014


 

 

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PHILIP OF SPAIN


Philip II of Spain—ruler of the most extensive empire the world had ever known—has been viewed in a harsh and negative light since his death in 1598. Identified with repression, bigotry, and fanaticism by his enemies, he has been judged more by the political events of his reign than by his person. This book, published four hundred years after Philip’s death, is the first full-scale biography of the king. Placing him within the social, cultural, religious, and regional context of his times, it presents a startling new picture of his character and reign.

Drawing on Philip’s unpublished correspondence and on many other archival sources, Henry Kamen reveals much about Philip the youth, the man, the husband, the father, the frequently troubled Christian, and the king. Kamen finds that Philip was a cosmopolitan prince whose extensive experience of northern Europe broadened his cultural imagination and tastes, whose staunchly conservative ideas were far from being illiberal and fanatical, whose religious attitudes led him to accept a practical coexistence with Protestants and Jews, and whose support for Las Casas and other defenders of the Indians in America helped determine government policy. Shedding completely new light on most aspects of Philip’s private life and, in consequence, on his public actions, the book is the definitive portrayal of Philip II.


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PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 1997

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EARLY MODERN EUROPEAN SOCIETY


Drawing together common features of society from a range of different contexts throughout Europe, from Italy and Spain to Poland and Russia, Early Modern European Society surveys the sweeping changes affecting Europe from the end of the fifteenth century to the early decades of the eighteenth century.

Henry Kamen includes discussion on European identities, frontiers and language; leisure, work and migration; religion, ritual and witchcraft; the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie and the poor; gender roles; social discipline and absolutism.


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PUBLISHER: Routledge

PUBLICATION DATE: 2000

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SPAIN’S ROAD TO EMPIRE: THE MAKING OF A WORLD POWER


Henry Kamen’s work re-creates the dazzling world of Imperial Spain, from the capture of Moorish Granada and Columbus’s first voyage in 1492, to its expansion into Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and the opening up of the frontiers in Texas and California in the eighteenth century. Drawing on the accounts of those who witnessed these great events, whether Aztec chroniclers, Italian explorers or Filipino sultans, Kamen balances the wonders of the Empire (the first sight of the Pacific, the astonishing voyages of the Manila galleons) with the horrors – the slavery, disease, terror and waste of human life it entailed. Throughout he emphasises just how unSpanish this Empire actually was, always relying on the cooperation (willing or otherwise) of non-Castilians for its success: Portuguese, basque, Aztec, Genoese, Chinese, Flemish, West African, Inca and Neapolitan. It was this vast diversity of resources and people which included many of its greatest adventurers and soldiers) that made Spain’s’ power so overwhelming. Henry Kamen demonstrates how the traditional view of the Spanish Empire as the all-conquering enemy of Protestant Europe has distorted our knowledge of its achievements. Shorn of this “black legend”, Spain’s complex impact on world history becomes far more apparent – but also, in new ways, just as disturbing.


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PUBLISHER: Allen Lane

PUBLICATION DATE: 7 November 2002

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THE SPANISH INQUISITION: AN HISTORICAL REVISION


Since the sixteenth century, the Spanish Inquisition has been synonymous with terror, bigotry, and persecution. In this book, a renowned historian sweeps away old misconceptions and presents a new view of this notorious and fascinating period.


Henry Kamen reassesses the significance and consequences of the expulsion of the Jews and also argues that there is little evidence for the alleged Jewishness of the conversos who were the Inquisition’s first victims. He presents a major revision of the impact of blood purity prejudices on Spanish society, revises the figures given for execution of heretics by the tribunal, and examines the amount of Spanish persecution in the context of executions in neighboring countries. He gives a completely new picture of the infamous censorship system, showing it to be much less effective than is often presented, and he investigates the role played by foreign propaganda in the creation of the diabolic image of the Inquisition. Kamen reconstructs the atmosphere of fear and oppression that typified the period, relating it to the fear generated by community tensions. He also demonstrates for the first time that the famous auto-da-fe was not a product of traditional Spanish piety but a deliberate tool of the inquisitors, invented in the sixteenth century in order to boost their political standing.


Thirty-five years ago Kamen wrote a study of the Inquisition that received high praise. This present work, based on over thirty years of new research, is not simply a complete revision of the earlier book. Innovative in its presentation, point of view, information, and themes, it will revolutionize further study in the field.


PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 11 July 1999

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WHO’S WHO IN EUROPE 1450-1750


Between 1450 and 1750 Europe underwent tremendous political, religious and cultural change – change which laid the foundations for the Europe we know today. Henry Kamen has compiled an accessible biographical guide to Europe in this most exciting of periods – the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation, the time of da Vinci and Erasmus, Elizabeth I and Oliver Cromwell.

In over a thousand entries, which cover the whole of Europe and include politics, culture, religion and science, Professor Kamen and his international contributors, all experts in their field, shed new light on the key players in this extraordinarily rich and formative period of history.


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PUBLISHER: Routledge

PUBLICATION DATE: 27 September 2001

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GOLDEN AGE SPAIN


For over a century Spain controlled the greatest empire the world had ever seen, and its collapse provoked, both then as it does now, a range of analyses over which there has been little agreement. In the second edition of this successful text, Henry Kamen asks: was the Golden Age of Spain in the sixteenth century actually an illusion? By examining some of the key issues involved, Kamen offers a balanced discussion of this fundamental question.


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PUBLISHER: Macmillan

PUBLICATION DATE: 1988

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IRON CENTURY: SOCIAL CHANGE IN EUROPE, 1550-1660


The period from 1550 to 1660 in Europe was a time of crsis, of seething social change and worsening material conditions. In the Iron Century Dr Kamen lays his empahsis on the social side of the history of these crucial years, paying particular attention to the poor and dispossessed – for the underprivileged this century was truly a cruel time of iron, not the golden age which a study of its political, intellectual and cultural achievements might suggest.


PUBLISHER: Cardinal

PUBLICATION DATE: 22 July 1976

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SPAIN IN THE LATER SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, 1665-1700


PUBLISHER: Longman

PUBLICATION DATE: 1980

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THE DUKE OF ALBA


Ferdinand Alvarez de Toledo, the third duke of Alba (1507-1582), is known to history as “the butcher of Flanders”. The general who carried out Philip II’s repressive policies in the Netherlands, he was responsible for the massacre of thousands of men, women and children, considering it better to lay waste an entire country than leave it in the hands of heretics. Alba came to represent for contemporaries as well as for future generations the unacceptable face of Spanish imperialism. In this intriguing re-evaluation, Henry Kamen narrates the duke’s personal history, looking beyond the conventional image to reveal motives and to explain rather than simply to condemn. Kamen examines the early years of Alba’s life, his travels over the whole of Europe, and the complex military and political career that made him Spain’s leading general of the imperial age. Drawing on the duke’s rich and expressive surviving correspondence, Kamen explores Alba’s beliefs and considers his infamous actions within the contexts of his time and of the monarchs – Emperor Charles V and King Philip II of Spain – whom he served.


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PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 8 April 2004

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THE PHOENIX AND THE FLAME: CATALONIA AND THE COUNTER REFORMATION


In 16th century Europe, culture and religious belief were so enmeshed that, together, they informed and underpinned every act, however mundane, of every ordinary man or woman. The Reformation ushered in revolutionary changes in Western society, but the people of Catholic Europe have usually been regarded as little affected. Spain, in particular, is supposed to have escaped the winds of change entirely. By considering the life of one small, but lively and distinctive, rural community, and the broader Mediterranean society of which it was part, “The Phoenix and the Flame” shows, how in Catholic Europe there in fact took place powerful changes which affected the daily life, belief and culture of the common people. Drawing exclusively on unpublished documents and on the wealth of books published during the period, the author looks at the popular culture of Catalan Spain, at the changes wrought by the Counter-Reformation, administrative reforms, the place of the community in religious belief, attempts to change popular festivities and celebrations, the far-reaching innovations in marriage and sexuality, the role of the Inquisition and of the Jesuits, the problem of witchcraft, and the impact of the new ideas retailed in foreign literature on local language and the printed word. This study of Catholic society of the pre-industrial period, offers some novel perspectives on the basis of the evidence for Catalonia, Spain’s most vital and individual province. Kamen’s Catalonia was a traditional society in which official dogma and morality played little part in everyday life, in which church marriage and the concept of Purgatory were little known, a society where control by the Inquisition was scorned, and extensive freedom of the press survived. By contemplating popular religion and culture from the bottom rather than from the top, Henry Kamen offers insights into an epoch normally studied and assessed only in the light of political events and presents a vision of the culture and society in Golden Age Spain.


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PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 1 April 1993

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PHILIP V OF SPAIN: THE KING WHO REIGNED TWICE


Philip V, who reluctantly assumed the Spanish throne in 1700, was the first of the Bourbon dynasty which continues to rule Spain today. His 46-year reign, briefly curtailed in 1724 when he abdicated in favour of his short-lived son, Louis I, was one of the most important in the country’s history. This highly readable account is the first biography of Philip V in English. Previous writing on Philip has been largely negative, dismissing him as comic, stupid, and indolent. Henry Kamen demonstrates here, however, that the king initiated significant developments in politics, imperial policy, finance, government, and military affairs that laid the basis of the modern Spanish state. Philip also encouraged literature, the creative arts, and music in ways that brought Spanish culture closer in touch with the rest of Europe, and he dealt authoritatively with issues concerning the autonomy of the provinces of Spain and the role of the monarchy itself. Drawing on contemporary opinion and fresh archival sources, Kamen discusses Philip’s character, decisions, and policies. He offers a new assessment of the king’s illness (which led earlier historians to view Philip as mad) and evaluates positively the role of his two wives. Kamen’s account of Philip as king provides an essential introduction to the study of early eighteenth-century Spain and the Bourbon monarchy.


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PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 7 March 2001

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A CONCISE HISTORY OF SPAIN


PUBLISHER: Thames & Hudson

PUBLICATION DATE: 4 February 1974

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