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Pombal, Paradox of the Enlightenment

Pombal, Paradox of the Enlightenment

  • Date Published: March 1995
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2001
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521450447

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About the Authors
  • This is the first major study in English for over half a century of one of Portugal's most important historical figures, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, marquês de Pombal (1699–1782). He is best known today as the key figure in the reconstruction of Lisbon after the devastating earthquake of 1755. Pombal's achievements however went far beyond the reconstruction of the capital. An unusually single-minded and ruthless first minister, he was also one of the eighteenth century's most successful 'enlightened despots': for example, he reformed the Portugese system of education, began the process whereby the Jesuits were expelled from Portugal after their suppression by the Pope in 1773, and mounted a formidable challenge to British commercial hegemony in Portugal. Recent renewed interest in the theory of enlightened absolutism has tended to ignore developments in the Iberian peninsula. This book is therefore essential to a full understanding of the complexities and paradoxes of enlightened rulership in a southern European context.

    • A lavishly illustrated account of one of the major figures of the enlightenment.
    • The first biography in English for over 50 years of the chief 'architect' of Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755.
    • Provides essential reading for anyone interested in 'enlightened despotism' and its unusual history in southern Europe
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… well worth reading, not only for the broad view of social, economic and political trends, but also for the fascinating personalities whose family names endure among the Portuguese political and business elite and for the beautiful illustrations based on historical etchings and paintings.' Luso Americano

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1995
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521450447
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 196 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.876kg
    • contains: 55 b/w illus. 13 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print June 2001
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. Ideas and images
    2. The golden age and its consequences
    3. Action in the national interest
    4. Collaborators and conspirators
    5. Reform
    6. War and empire
    7. Public interest and private profit
    8. The legacy
    Bibliographic essay.

  • Author

    Kenneth Maxwell

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