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Spain   By: (1829-1907)

Spain by Wentworth Webster

First Page:

[Illustration: SPAIN

Edwd Weller]

London, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington.]

SPAIN

BY THE REV. WENTWORTH WEBSTER, M.A. OXON.

WITH A CHAPTER BY AN ASSOCIATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINES.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

London: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON, CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET. 1882.

[ All rights reserved. ]

LONDON: PRINTED BY GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.

[etext transcriber's note: No attempt has been made to correct, normalize or de anglicize the spelling of Spanish names or words. For example: Calayatud/Calatayud, Alfonso/Alfonzo, Cacéres/Caceres/Cáceres, Cardénas/Cárdenas, Guipúzcoa/Guipuzcoa all appear]

PREFACE.

There is a difficulty in writing a book of this character on Spain, which does not exist, we think, to the same extent with any other European country. In most European nations the official returns and government reports may be accepted as trustworthy, and the compiler has little more to do than to copy them; but in Spain this is far from being always the case. In some instances, from nonchalance and habitual inexactitude, in others, and especially in all matters of finance and taxation, from designed misstatement, all such reports have to be received with caution and scrupulously examined. The reader must remember also that in Spain smuggling and contraband dealing in various forms is carried on to such a vast extent as seriously to vitiate all trade returns. Thus it is that Spanish statistics can be considered only as approximate truths.

Another difficulty arises from the very varied character of the Spanish provinces. Hardly any statement can be made of one province which is not untrue of another. The ordinary descriptions of Spain present only one, or at most two, types, the Castling and Andalusian, and utterly neglect all the rest. The provinces of Spain have been well described as divided into "five Irelands" whose habits and modes of thought, political aspirations, and commercial interests and aptitudes, are often utterly opposed to those of the capital. A brief survey of the whole of Spain is attempted in the following pages.

In a work of this kind one other obvious difficulty is to know what to omit. Some well worn topics will be found to be absent from these pages. No references are made to the great Peninsular War. This can be easily studied in the admirable pages of Sir W. Napier in English, and of Toreno in Spanish, or in compendiums of these, which again are filtered down in every guide book. For a like reason Prescott's brilliant works are not alluded to.

For the chapter on Geology and Mining the reader is indebted to one of the most distinguished Associates of the School of Mines, who has been recently engaged in practical geological survey and mapping in Spain.

Much also of the present work is due to private information most kindly furnished by Spanish friends of high position in the literary and political world, and with whom some of the subjects treated have been frequently discussed. To these the author offers his warmest and most grateful thanks.

ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE GEOGRAPHY OF SPAIN.

PAGE

Boundaries of the Peninsula 1 Area and Coast line 2 Six divisions of Spain ib.

Mountain chains : Pyrenees 3 Cantabrian, Asturian, and Galician mountains 4 Leon ib. Oca, Sierra Moncayo, and Idubeda chains 5 Central Plateau and its passes ib. Culminating water shed of the Peninsula 6 Guadarrama range ib... Continue reading book >>




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