The Postcolonial Death of the Book of Kings

Mark Thurner

in History's Peru

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035383
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038940 | DOI:
The Postcolonial Death of the Book of Kings

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This chapter probes, via the pen of postcolonial Peru's “schoolmaster of history” Sebastián Lorente (1813–1884), the discursive means by which the rule of the Spanish monarchs and of the dynastic arts of history were displaced, under the republican sign of revolution, by the name of the people and the book of Peruvian civilization. In Peru's first college textbook of “contemporary history,” published in Lima in 1876, Lorente noted that it was not the crowd at the Bastille but rather the fiery Bishop de Blois who had delivered history's death sentence to the French king. Speaking before France's National Convention, the republican bishop noted that the “Name of the King” had been upheld by the “Book of Kings.” The time of that book and its king was about to end. For Lorente, de Blois' public sentencing of the Book announced the arrival of a worldwide “Contemporary Age of Revolutions.” Peru was at the forefront of this new age.

Keywords: postcolonial Peru; Sebastián Lorente; Spanish monarchs; dynastic arts; sign of revolution; Peruvian civilization; Bastille; Bishop de Blois; Book of Kings; Name of the King; new age

Chapter.  10070 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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