James Casey offers an innovative study of prestige, power and the role of the family in a Mediterranean city during the early modern period. He focuses on the structure and values of the ruling class of Granada, where a new elite consolidated its authority. The study suggests that their power was linked to the pursuit of honour, which demanded participation in the politics of the commonwealth and depended greatly on the network of personal relations which they were able to build with kinsmen, clients and patrons. It explores the way in which this system contributed to the relative tranquillity of the community during a turbulent time of religious and political change, that of the rise of absolutism and of the Counter Reformation. The book sheds fresh light on the nature of the early modern family and will be essential reading for historians of early modern Spain and Europe.
James Casey is Reader in History at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of The Family in History (1989) and Early Modern Spain: A Social History (1999).