Public Space and Middle-Class Culture in the Spanish Capital, 1833-1890
This book investigates how parks and public space figure in attempts to envision Madrid as the capital of modern Spain. It explores the intersections between a burgeoning economy of consumption and the representation of parks, boulevards, and outlying lands in works by Ramón de Mesonero Romanos, Mariano José de Larra, Armando Palacio Valdés, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Benito Pérez Galdós, and others for whom Madrid's place in "modern" Europe is critically at issue. To support the close analysis of literary texts, this book draws on the writings of reformers such as Ángel Fernández de los Ríos, Ildefons Cerdá, and Mesonero Romanos himself, as well as journalists, municipal officials, and economists of the time whose works help frame ongoing debates on the city and its nature. Interdisciplinary in approach, Cultivating Madrid argues that gardens and garden imagery trouble the distinction not only between nature and artifice, but also between reality and representation in general, and are thus crucial to understanding realism and the process of modernization in Spain.
About the author:
Daniel Frost is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross.