Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

"To Defend Your Empire and the Faith. Advice on a Global Strategy Offered c. 1590 to Philip, King of Spain and Portugal, by Manoel de Andrada Castel Blanco", ed. and trans. P. E. H. Hair (Book Review)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (1992), 69, (2), 187


REVIEWS OF BOOKS 187 temporary chronicles, which she admits are also given to embellishments, in this respect. It is not an historical novel (as was proposed by Menendez y Pelayo) because (unsurprisingly) it lacks the realist novel's interest in motivation which Lukacs regards as essential ro the genre. Professor Alvarez-Hesse concludes that it is a 'Iibro de caballerias' (55), and proceeds in chapters 2-4 to discover in it the ethos and techniques of the romances of chivalry. However, as she translates 'historical romance' as 'libro de caballerias de terna hisrorico' (47), it may be that the author actually views the book as a romance rather than specifically a romance of chivalry. Chapter 2 describes the chivalresque world of the Cronica, cataloguing the narrative motifs of ritualized courtly love (including secret marriage) and ritualized combat. (No account is taken of the doubts of, for example, Keith Whinnom regarding the validity of the concept of a single code of courtly love.) The heroes are shown to fulfil the chivalric 'code' (59), while the villains do not. Fantastic elementsprophecies, dreams, the House of Hercules at Toledo, miracles-are described in chapter 3. In chapter 4 certain literary structures and motifs are described: the fictitious account of the work's transmission, use of letters, use of soliloquy ('pensamiento interior'), addresses to the reader/listener and moral/emotional exclamations (here called 'elementos epicos', 160) and digressions. This orderly study proceeds efficiently rowards its unpretentious conclusions; however, it would have benefited from a more questioning attitude towards the literary critics cited and by making comparisons with a broader field of Old Spanish literature which uses the techniques of fiction to recount what is presented as historical fact, most notably saints' lives and epics. BARRY TAYLOR The British Library, London. To Defend Your Empire and the Faith. Advice on a Global Strategy Oiiered c.1590 to Philip, King of Spain and Portugal, by Menoel de Andrada Castel Blanco. Edited and Translated by P. E. H. Hair. Liverpool Historical Studies V. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. 1990. 298 pp. £12.50. With the acquisition of the Portuguese crown in 1580, Philip II of Spain became unquestionably the most powerful ruler of both the Old World and the New: his dominions stretched from Italy to South America, from West Africa to the Far East. However, this expansion also made Spain and Portugal more vulnerable to attacks by such rising powers as Eng-' land and France. Iberian monopoly of the unknown world (or, at least, unknown from the European point of view) had been a source of irritation since the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas. Spain's disgruntled enemies had argued, not unreasonably, that as Adam had died intestate then 'the world belongs to all men and not to the Spaniards alone'. Consequently, throughout the sixteenth century the English and French had attempted, with increasing success, to infiltrate Spanish and Portuguese territories overseas. It was against this background of fin-de-siecle gloom and despondency, of a growing anxiety that Spain's empire was disintegrating, that Manoel de Andrada Castel Blanco, a Portuguese cleric and a minor official at the court of Philip II, composed a tract in Spanish proffering advice to the king on how best to defend his empire. Andrada's advice is, on the whole, unimaginative and unoriginal: his writing style is disorganized and incoherent, his chronology confused and at times factually inaccurate. There is no evidence that Philip II ever read this tract, one of many composed by arbitristas in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries. So why bother to publish an English edition of such an unremarkable work? Professor Hair argues convincingly that Andrada's tract is of interest to historians precisely because it was written by an obscure cleric whose views provide us with certain insights into late-sixteenth-century 'public opinion'. Moreover, Andrada was unusual insofar as he had been involved in missionary work in West Africa and Brazil at a time when the missions were dominated by the regular clergy. Apart from a disparaging allusion to the greed of the Portuguese Jesuits, Andrada maintains an eloquent silence on the activities of his fellow 'regular' missionaries. Andrada's empire plan was a curious amalgam of medieval and modern proposals: he acknowledges the superiority of English ships and navigational skills, and laments the fact that seafaring was deemed by his fellow Iberians to be a base and lowly occupation. In his view, the only way to remedy this was to provide pilots with a proper training in nautical mathematics and navigational skills. Yet these 'modem' notions of nautical training and education existed side by side with Andrada's anachronistic support for the knights of the military orders of Christ, Avis and Santiago. These 'men of pure blood and true gentlemen' were proposed as colonists and defenders of the island of St Helena. However, by the time Andrada was writing his tract, the military and religious function of the military orders had been transmuted into an elaborate award-system, which brought its members land, income, social status and, most importantly, provided them with proof of their limpieza de sangre. Defence of the Catholic faith against the Infidel, against French and English 'Lutherites', and the conversion of the heathen to Catholicism was another Copyright (c) 2004 ProQuest Information and Learning Company Copyright (c) Liverpool University Press

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