Since high intellectual history is something of a niche interest compared to ethnohistory and more recently Afro-Latin American history, it is rare for historians of colonial Latin America to place their work in the context of the “Republic of Letters.” This is a pity, since—as this book shows—scholars in the eighteenth-century Viceroyalty of New Spain were, both in practice and in terms of their self-professed identity, members of a distinguished local branch of a wider Republic of Letters. While much less well known than its French or even British North American counterparts, this Novohispanic corner of the learned world participated in wider neo-European scholarly trends from Scholasticism to satire as well as pursuing certain common themes in locally specific ways, such as pre-Columbian antiquarianism. From this, José Francisco Robles concludes that letrados (borrowing Ángel Rama's terminology) had triple citizenship in imperial Spain, the Republic of Letters, and the Catholic Church,...
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Book Review| February 01 2023
Polemics, Literature, and Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Mexico: A New World for the Republic of Letters
Polemics, Literature, and Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Mexico: A New World for the Republic of Letters. By José Francisco Robles.
Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment.
Liverpool University Press,
2021. Figures. Notes. Bibliography. Index. xv,
387pp. Paper, £75.00.
Stuart M. McManus
Hispanic American Historical Review (2023) 103 (1): 178–179.
Stuart M. McManus; Polemics, Literature, and Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Mexico: A New World for the Republic of Letters. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2023; 103 (1): 178–179. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-10277760
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