Washington Irving has long been admired for his writings on
American lore and history, but his work on Islamic subjects,
particularly his studies of Moorish Spain, deserve wider
recognition. This edition of The Alhambra, here republished in
facsimile from the 1908 edition, complete with illustrations by
Joseph Pennell, presents a welcome opportunity to reassess Irving's
European writings. The author first visited Granada in 1828, and
revisited the city many times, living within the precincts of the
Alhambra and having access to the many historical documents housed
there. He later composed his two-volume work Mahomet and His
Successors (1849-50), derived from original sources held in
Granada. The Alhambra is a more personal study, reflecting the
author's enchantment with the splendours of the palace and his
intimate knowledge of the history of the Moors in Spain.
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