A vital book on momentous events in Iberia
The works of Washington Irving, one of the earliest of the great American writers, need little introduction. He was a man of varied interests and enormous talent able to write entertaining and enduring fiction including the iconic ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and the wonderful collection of travelogue and fantasy that is ‘Tales from the Alhambra.’ His ability as an historian cannot be underestimated and he was able to leave posterity a canon of outstanding books on subjects ranging from the early days of exploration in his homeland, to this book, ‘The Conquest of Granada, ‘ about the history of Spain-a country in which he worked while living in the famous Alhambra of Granada. The period of Spanish history this book concentrates on is fascinating. The Islamic world, both in the form of the Ottoman Turks and the Moors of North Africa, made enormous inroads into ‘Christian’ Europe over hundreds of years. Before this Islamic tide finally abated it had to be turned back at Tours-almost at the gates of Paris-by Charles Martel in AD 732 and would besiege Vienna in 1529 and 1683. Large tracts of land fell under their control and nowhere was more successfully or enduringly settled than Spain in the form of the jewel that was Al-Andalus. A series of campaigns in the last years of the 14th century known as the ‘Reconquista’ saw the Catholic monarchs, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon finally bring about the fall of the Nasrid dynasty’s hold on the emirate of Granada. Irving’s work is an acknowledged classic and is essential reading for all those interested in the epic struggle between the sword and cross and the scimitar and crescent.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.