Blog category: Spanish History

  • A 19th-Century Spanish Christmas

    A 19th-Century Spanish Christmas

    December 13, 2019

    In 1829, Caroline Cushing, a resident of Newburyport, Massachusetts, travelled to Europe with her husband Caleb Cushing, a lawyer and member of the Massachusetts Senate. While Caleb employed himself in studying the laws and institutions of the countries they visited, Caroline wrote a fascinating account of their journey through France and Spain. She provided the following description of Christmas in Madrid in 1829.

    Read more

  • Spain Before the Peninsular War

    Spain Before the Peninsular War

    October 18, 2019

    In 1805, British writer Robert Semple travelled across Spain. His observations on the journey, published in London in 1807, provide a sense of what Spain was like before the Peninsular War (1807-1814), and before Napoleon placed his elder brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the Spanish throne. At the time of Semple’s visit, Charles IV – a member of the Bourbon family – was the king of Spain. Charles took little interest in matters of government, leaving them in the hands of his wife, Queen Maria Luisa, and the Spanish prime minister, Manuel de Godoy, who was thought to be the queen’s lover.

    Read more

We must confess that fate, which sports with man, makes merry work with the affairs of this world.

Napoleon Bonaparte