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Adrian Shubert

Apr 7, 2022

The Sword of Luchana

Baldomero Espartero and the Making of Modern Spain, 1793–1879

University of Toronto Press 2021

Today I spoke to Prof. Adrian Shubert, professor of History at York University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada about his book on the nineteenth century Spanish soldier statesman Baldomero Espartero published by the University of Toronto Press in 2021.

Baldomero Espartero (1793–1879) who Shubert compares to Napoleon and Garibaldi and on whom a postage stamp was released in May 2020 in Spain (after the publication of The Sword..), led a life resembling that of a character created by Stendhal or Gabriel García Márquez. Indeed Espartero was famed to have been the peacemaker who promoted national unity who had brought an end to the horrific Carlist civil war, a highly internationalized conflict. He became the harbinger of a nationalism that was not elitist but collective.

In The Sword of Luchana: Baldomero Espartero and the Making of Modern Spain, 1793–1879 (U Toronto Press, 2021), based on comprehensive archival research in Spain, Argentina, and the United Kingdom, the historian explores the public and private lives of Espartero and his wife Jacinta who he describes as the power couple of 19th century Spain. He affirms that her role in his life and public life brought to the fore gender issues in the 19th century and were a constitutive part of the liberal revolution.

Shubert’s work touches diverse aspects during times of war, revolution, and political and social change and brings to life a Spanish hero who Karl Marx mentioned in his writings and who has fallen into oblivion.

Minni Sawhney is a professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Delhi

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Minni Sawhney

Minni Sawhney is a professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Delhi

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