Few would doubt that Spain has for several centuries made a thrilling and important contribution to Europe's culture. We all carry in our heads a complex and seductive sense of what Spain stands for and what it looks like: its music, painting, buildings, history. But what we do not understand is how almost all of this was the achievement not of one group, but of the Spanish in exile. "The Disinherited" is an extremely important as well as enjoyable work of cultural recovery. Spain's strange path has created a 'virtual' culture, one imagined by men often thousands of miles from home - its impact on the world has been incalculable.
Henry Kamen's previous books include Philip of Spain and Spain's Road to Empire (Penguin, 2002). He lives in Barcelona.