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Title: Wealth, poverty and social mobility in Restoration Spain : a critique of liberal society in the Novelas contemporáneas of Benito Pérez Galdós
Author: Ridao Carlini, Inma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 445X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis analyses seven of Galdós’s key Novelas contemporáneas – Lo prohibido (1884-1885), the four Torquemada novels (1889-1895), Ángel Guerra (1891) and Misericordia (1897) – in the context of contemporary discourses regarding the socio-economic changes which Spanish society had experienced from the 1830s. Adopting a socio-historical approach, this study emphasizes the variety of ideologies which Galdόs’s contemporaries embraced in response to the changing socio-economic circumstances of their own time, as well as the author’s own engagement with these diverse currents of thought. The particular focus is to examine Galdós’s preoccupation in these novels with questions relating to the creation and distribution of wealth in the modern money-centred society of Restoration Spain. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 analyse in detail the historical account of the ascent of the bourgeoisie which Galdós presents in Lo prohibido, the Torquemada series and Ángel Guerra. In these novels, Galdós links the wealth of his bourgeois characters to the speculative climate which resulted from the economic policies of the liberal State. In Ángel Guerra and the last of the Torquemada novels, Torquemada y San Pedro, Galdós brings into focus the social effects of the most representative of these liberal policies, Mendizábal’s 1835-1836 desamortización. I examine Galdós’s engagement here with the intense contemporary debate on this controversial policy. Chapter 4 analyses Galdós’s treatment of the themes of pauperism and charity in Misericordia in relation to contemporary discourses on the cuestión social. This study reveals Galdós’s perception, which he shares with other contemporary authors, of living through a time of profound social transformation.
Supervisor: Rhian, Davies ; Geraldine, Lawless ; Louise, Johnson Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available