Spanish Writer and Publisher Carlos Frontaura (1834-1910): A Study of His Social Influence and Ideology

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Gant’s book takes a careful look at the 19th century Spanish writer and publisher, Carlos Frontaura. According to Gant, it is wrong to consider Frontaura a second tier author, because his work was much more aligned with the politics and social opinions of the time period in which he lived. His work on religion, women, class and money, as well as politics cannot be undervalued as integral parts of Spanish life in the 19th century. This study addresses a gap in scholarship due to the lack of work devoted to Frontaura. Because of the availability of digital editions of his work and periodicals edited by him an extended discussion of his writings has become possible. His work during the 1868 Revolution prior to the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy brought him into prominence and elevated him to being quite influential on the period’s social and political conscience.
Carlos Frontaura is familiar to many scholars of nineteenth century Spain but he has been the subject of relatively little research despite his wide-ranging literary activities and contemporary importance. Until recently, Frontaura has been doubly neglected as both a secondary and a more ideologically conservative figure. This study addresses this gap in the light of increased academic interest and the availability of digital editions of his work and periodicals edited by him and it provides a reference point for future readers and scholars alike.


“Dr. Gant’s argument is supported by thorough and wide-ranging examination of Frontaura’s literary work, and by careful and detailed study of primary data. His analysis of nineteenth-century critical writings on Frontaura illuminates the contemporary reception of his work. As Gant expresses it, Frontaura writes a ‘fiction which, in terms of ideology, is particularly representative of the political and religious compromises which created the Restoration status quo, Catholic without being Carlist, liberal but conservative liberal.’”

-Prof. Eamonn Rodgers,
University of Strathclyde

“This is a valuable piece of work based on original research that shows how popular literature can cast a good deal of light on the preoccupations of a particular society at a particular time. In literary history Frontaura is regarded as a lesser figure, but as a Liberal-Conservative he was highly representative of his era.”

-Prof. C.A. Longhurst,
University of Leeds

“This is a pioneering work, based on both close reading of individual texts and detailed archival studying which has brought new material to light.”

-Dr. John Macklin,
University of Glasgow

"... it is undeniable that Gant's study provides readers with a wealth of information about Frontaura and it is evidently the productly of a vast amount of fascinating research, drawing together primary sources, press statistics, as well as secondary sources on both the author's work and the period. It will, thus, doubtless be of great interest to press historians, as well a researchers focusing on the history of publishing, the literary world and life at the turn of the century." - Prof. Rhian Davies, University of Sheffield

Table of Contents


Biographical Introduction:
Early years
El Cascabel and the sexenio
Restoration politics
Fiction for children and later writing
The new century

Critical Introduction
A critical gap
Contemporary reception
Twentieth-century evaluations
Twenty-First century criticism

Chapter 1 – Politics
Introductory overview
Spain and her politicians
Progress and progresistas
Republicans and democrats
Carlists and absolutists
Order and Disorder
The sexenio democrático
Conciliation and harmony
The Restoration
Crime and Justice
Concluding Summary

Chapter 2 – Women and Gender
Introductory overview
Women and reading
Women and work
Women and materialism
Women and adultery
Independent women
The wife and mother
Women and passion
Women and marriage
Women and men
Concluding summary

Chapter 3 – Religion
Introductory overview
Religion and hypocrisy
Religion, science and civil authority
Religion and politics
Religious indifference
Religion and romantic love
Religious orders
Christ and the gospels
Suffering and resignation
Death and salvation
Atheism and Protestantism
Concluding summary

Chapter 4 – Social Class and Money
Introductory overview
Work and wealth
The aristocracy
The middle classes
The new rich
Poverty and the poor
The Catalan model
Concluding summary

Locating Frontaura – Ideology, Genre and Readership
The popular novel
Idealism and realism
The moral novel
A liberal Catholicism

Bibliographic Appendix: The Works of Carlos Frontaura

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