Ruiz Mas, José. Guardias civiles, bandoleros, gitanos, guerrilleros, contrabandistas,
carabineros y turistas en la literatura inglesa contemporánea (1844-1994). Bern, Berlin,
Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang. Spanish
Perspectives on English and American Literature, Communication and Culture. Vol. 5.
Edited by María José Álvarez-Faedo, Manuel Brito, Andrew Monnickendam and
Beatriz Penas-Ibáñez, 2010. (ISBN: 978-3-0343-0506-8; 395 pages).
Several recurrent human types in Spain in the 19th and 20th centuries appear uninterruptedly
in the English literature of the time, especially in British, Irish and American travellers’
accounts. These Spanish characters are depicted with specific literary profiles, which are far
from being stereotypical or monolithic. This book concentrates on the literary image of the
Guardia Civil and of other frequent Spanish types that frequently come into view in the
English travel books written between 1844 (the year when the Guardia Civil was created) and
1994 (the year commemorating the 150th anniversary of its creation). Thanks to the in-depth
analysis of a corpus of travel literature consisting of more than five hundred primary sources,
the author (U. of Jaén) has managed to portray a chock-a-block image of the guardia civil in
the Anglophone world in unavoidable comparison with other Spanish characters of the
different historical periods of Spanish history such as the bandit, the gipsy, the smuggler, the
guerrilla, the carabineer and the tourist. The foreign visitor’s opinions and descriptions of the
different characters of the Spanish scene is very much determined by elements such as his/her
own personal, national or ideological prejudices against Spain, his/her social class and
economic situation and by his/her level of knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.
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