Nineteenth Century Images of Englishness: Spanish Translators and the Will to Change

Paloma Tejada Caller


This article sets out to demonstrate that the various institutional discourses of the Spanish nineteenth century, related to the representation of an English image, differ essentially in the degree of influence that they receive from translations. More specifically, the monograph aims to identify and categorise the translations on the history of England that were published in Spain during the nineteenth century, according to the data extracted from the National Library of Madrid; assess the significance of these translations in proportion to the total amount of publications on the subject and analyse the influence they might have exerted on a corpus of authors and works of different ideologies that is twofold in nature: it includes history textbooks, officially used at various educational levels, as well as admission speeches at the Spanish Royal Academy of Language. In our opinion, the influence of the translations published in Spain is essentially reflected on the following two aspects: a) the deliberate reproduction of stereotypes launched by the English themselves in the Victorian Era, in line with a liberal idea of history and, b) the use of new narrative and historiographic techniques. In the most heterodox representations, England will be set up as a model of behaviour and an explicit preoccupation and comparison with Spain will be clearly revealed, while at the same time a critical stance toward the Catholic Church as an institution will be introduced. Key words: Englishness; Identity; Language; History and Ideology; Spanish Nineteenth Century

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