I am delighted to announce the publication of Adrian Shubert's latest 750 page book in Spanish: Espartero, el Pacificador (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2018). The book has caused something of a stir in Spain with Adrian much in demand by local media. Please join me in congratulating Adrian who has kindly provided an English translation of the back cover blurb. I include it at the end of this message.
This is a completely innovative and gripping biography of the most important figure of Spain’s 19th century, Baldomero Espartero (1793-1879). As well as telling the story of his life, it illuminates important aspects of the modern history of Spain and contributes to a new way if understanding the 19th century.
There was no single, coherent or consistent Espartero. The general who could electrify his men with his harangues and was so fearlessly decisive on the battlefield was almost tongue-tied in parliament and dithered at moments of political crisis but he came closer to being a truly constitutional head of state than anyone before 1870. He was a Spanish nationalist for whom national unity was the holy grail and he its champion. He was an ardent monarchist who spent all his public life sustaining a throne under threat but who endorsed the Republic when it came. He valued loyalty to friends above almost all else and he practiced it in his political life, to his great cost. He was a devoted and doting husband who was emotionally dependent on his wife, Jacinta, who did so much to advance his career and who is the other protagonist of this book.