Salas y Quiroga’s Anglo-Saxon England: a Psychological and Sociological Portrait of Power
By Paloma Tejada Caller
ATLANTIS. Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies, Vol.31.1 (2009)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is ultimately to contribute new insights from current explorations of Englishness in Spain. More specifically, a selected narrative written by Jacinto Salas y Quiroga in 1846 is carefully analysed from a cross-cultural standpoint, taking into account the ideological and discursive bases on which nations are built.
The article focuses on how Anglo-Saxon England is constructed in Salas’ book, as opposed to the image portrayed in other narratives of a similar nature, published in Spain during the nineteenth century. After the analysis of Salas’ textual, rhetorical and linguistic strategies, results show that in this original contribution, the expected Anglo-Saxons’ territorial and ethnic identity occupies only a background position, whereas the dynamic interaction of two conceptual types or characters, the powerful vs. the weak, is driven to the forefront.
Through the use of heterodox schemes Salas deviates from the Spanish common cultural and historiographic practice, and completes a powerful and novel image of Anglo-Saxons, which performs a well-defined function in mid-nineteenth century Spain.