Dr. Lara Anderson is Convenor of Spanish at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include issues of national identity, decadence and modernity in late-nineteenth-century Spanish literature and constructions of Spain at Universal Expositions from this same period.2006 0-7734-5610-4
This book examines the connections between national decadence and the figure of the female spendthrift in seven novels from the combined literary opus of Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851-1921) and Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920). A significant social phenomenon of this period was a prevailing sense of collective decline, and attempts by the Regenerationists to counter it through a spirit of reform aimed at bringing about Spain’s regeneration. One of the primary concepts inherent in this project was a perceived dichotomy between Spain and Europe and their corresponding correlates of old and new. It is against the backdrop of contrasts, specifically the tension between tradition and modernity, that the author analyzes the consuming women in Pardo Bazán’s and Pérez Galdós’ novels.