A rare travelogue of an adventurous Charlestonian that highlights the rich intellectual life of the
Privately published in 1861, James Johnston Pettigrew's Notes on Spain and the Spaniards, in the Summer of 1859, with a Glance at Sardinia is a rare lost artifact of intellectual life in the Old South written by an adventurous spirit well versed in European history, architecture, and literature. This Southern Classics edition makes the volume available publically for the first time and is enhanced with a new introduction by Southern historian and Pettigrew's biographer, Clyde N. Wilson.
Pettigrew's travelogue records his experiences and impressions as an educated Southerner eager to immerse himself in Iberian and Mediterranean culture. He describes interactions with Spaniards, including the manners of men and attractiveness of women; shows keen understanding of Islamic contributions to Spanish history; and expresses his sympathy for the plights of peasant societies. In addition Pettigrew recounts his awe at monuments and cathedrals, demonstrates his knowledge of regional politics, and shows his republican zeal in joining efforts to liberate Italy from the yoke of Austria. Candidly broaching historical, aesthetic, political, and religious topics, Pettigrew offers an insightful exploration of Spanish culture on many fronts. Moreover his writing exemplifies the well-developed social philosophy of the antebellum South, demonstrates that Southern intellectuals of the time were deeply interested in topics beyond their regional concerns. Notes on Spain hints at the literary promise of a representative casualty of the Civil War.
James Johnston Pettigrew (1828–1863) was an accomplished intellectual, litigator, and legislator living in Charleston. As a Confederate brigadier general, Pettigrew served with distinction in the Virginia campaign and died from wounds received in the war.
Clyde N. Wilson is a professor emeritus of history at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew and editor of volumes 10 through 28 of The Papers of John C. Calhoun as well as The Essential Calhoun and other books.
"This exceedingly sprightly book is the result of two extensive journeys made through Spain, one in 1852 and the other in 1859. The attention of the traveler was directed mainly to the cities of the south, to cathedrals and other architectural matters. His enthusiasm for Spain and things Spanish . . . was boundless. . . . His book is one of the rarest of Caroliniana."—Publications of the Southern History Association