Kamen, Henry (Arthur Francis) 1936-
KAMEN, Henry (Arthur Francis) 1936-
PERSONAL: Born October 4, 1936, in Rangoon, Burma; son of Maurice (an engineer) and Agnes (Frizelle) Kamen; married Eulalia Vila (a teacher), April, 1990. Education: Oxford University, B.A. (first class honors), 1960, D.Phil., 1963. Religion: Roman Catholic.
CAREER: Educator and historian. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, lecturer, 1963-66; University of Warwick, Coventry, England, reader, 1966-90; Higher Council for Scientific Research, Barcelona, Spain, professor, 1991—.
The Spanish Inquisition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1965, New American Library (New York, NY), 1966.
The Rise of Toleration, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1967.
(Contributor) Hugh Trevor-Roper, The Age of Expansion: Europe and the World, 1559-1660, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1968.
The War of Succession in Spain, 1700-15, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1969.
The Iron Century: Social Change in Europe, 1550-1660, Praeger (New York, NY), 1971.
A Concise History of Spain, Scribner (New York, NY), 1973.
(With Joseph Pérez) La Imagen internacional de la España de Flipe II: "Leyenda negra" o conflicto de intereses, University de Valladolid (Valladolid, Spain), 1980.
Spain in the Later Seventeenth Century, 1665-1700, Longman (New York, NY), 1980.
Spain, 1469-1714: A Society of Conflict, Longman (New York, NY), 1983.
European Society, 1500-1700, Hutchinson (London, England), 1984.
Inquisition and Society in Spain in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1985.
Vocabulario básico de la historia moderna: España y América, 1450-1750, Crítica (Barcelona, Spain), 1986.
Golden Age Spain, Humanities Press International (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1988.
Crisis and Change in Early Modern Spain, Variorum (Brookfield, VT), 1993.
The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1998.
Early Modern European Society, Routledge (New York, NY), 2000.
(Editor and contributor) Who's Who in Europe, 1450-1750, Routledge (New York, NY), 2000.
Philip V: The King Who Reigned Twice, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Professor Henry Kamen "has done more than any other modern historian to reverse the old Anglo-Saxon prejudice against Spain and to destroy the 'black legend' created by many eloquent but facile nineteenth-century writers," noted Maria Isabella Garcia in Contemporary Review. Kamen, who writes in English, is an authority on the Spanish Inquisition and on the history of Spain from the Renaissance era into the Industrial Revolution. Since he first published The Spanish Inquisition in 1965 he has led the push to revise early modern Spanish history in English and remove biases that had existed in scholarly and popular books for more than a century. Observed Eric C. Rust in the Journal of Church and State, "Connoisseurs of Spanish history require no introduction to Henry Kamen. Bringing a wealth of factual knowledge, scholarly integrity, and sensitivity to his subject, Kamen always stirs his readers as he transports them back to Spain's Golden Age."
Kamen has written three separate books on the Inquisition, each one adding more research and observations on the controversial topic. According to John Edwards in the Journal of Modern History, "Generations of students have been brought up on Henry Kamen's two earlier versions of the history of the Spanish Inquisition, which were published in 1965 and 1985 respectively, and which brought a refreshing independence of mind to what had often appeared to be a subject that lent itself to the adoption of fixed and tedious positions." The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, published in 1998, introduces new findings that in some cases alter Kamen's previous conclusions on the conduct and scope of the Inquisition. To quote Carla Rahn Phillips in Renaissance Quarterly, "Here Kamen adds a wealth of recent scholarship and presents a forceful and gracefully written narrative that is consciously aimed at the general reader." Carl L. Bankston III in Commonweal wrote: "Kamen's new book is a rewriting and extension of his original one that incorporates the findings of three-and-a-half decades of research. . . . [It] is a major contribution to the history of religion and the history of Spain. The clarity of the writing will make it appealing to interested general readers, as well as to specialists. . . . [Kamen] succeeds in reinterpreting a dark legend of torture and persecution as a series of human attempts to deal with issues of belief and social conflict."
In addition to his works on the Inquisition, Kamen has written biographies of two important Spanish kings, Philip II—who ruled in the sixteenth century—and Philip V, the first Bourbon king of Spain. In both cases the scholar has sought to dispel myths about the kings in question, especially Philip II, who sent the Spanish Armada against England in 1588. A reviewer for the Economist felt that Philip of Spain "is formidably learned, impartial and just: a worthy achievement." Andrew A. Chibi, writing in Historian, stated: "What emerges from Kamen's book is a prince trying to do what is best for Spain, his family, and his religion. . . . Indeed, this is a book that all early modernists should read, particularly historians of Tudor England." Renaissance Quarterly reviewer M. N. Carlos Eire maintained that Philip of Spain "is a stunning achievement, not only because of its revisionist outlook and its use of sources, but also because of its style and structure. This is an exemplary piece of scholarship that reads very much like a good novel." Maria Isabella Garcia, reviewing Philip V of Spain: The King Who Reigned Twice, declared that the biography, "well research and well-written, provides a good introduction to the problems that bedeviled an eighteenth-century King of Spain." A Publishers Weekly contributor styled the book "a humane work, as well as a provocative one."
Kamen once told CA: "As a historian, my task is simply to investigate the past through an intelligent use of both scholarship and imagination."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, December, 1995, Gary W. McDonogh, review of The Phoenix and the Flame: Catalonia and the Counter Reformation, p. 1598; June, 1998, Richard L. Kagan, review of Philip of Spain, p. 912; December, 1999, Thomas F. Glick, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 1773. Atlantic Monthly, August, 1997, Francis X. Rocca, review of Philip of Spain, p. 85.
Biography, fall, 2001, Richard Herr, review of Philip V of Spain: The King Who Reigned Twice, p. 1003.
Booklist, April 1, 2000, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of Who's Who in Europe, 1450-1750, p. 1494; May 1, 2001, Brad Hooper, review of Philip V of Spain, p. 1660.
Commonweal, January 14, 1994, Carl L. Bankston III, review of The Phoenix and the Flame, p. 31; August 14, 1998, Carl L. Bankston III, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 22.
Contemporary Review, November, 2001, Maria Isabella Garcia, "Spain's First Bourbon King," p. 308.
Economist (U.S), October 18, 1997, review of Philip of Spain, p. S6; July 11, 1998, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. S10.
English Historical Review, November, 1998, M. J. Rodriguez-Salgado, review of Philip of Spain, p. 1256.
Historian, summer, 1999, Andrew A. Chibi, review of Philip of Spain, p. 958.
History Today, July, 1994, Diarmaid MacCulloch, review of The Phoenix and the Flame, p. 58.
Journal of Church and State, spring, 1999, Eric C. Rust, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 381.
Journal of Modern History, June, 2000, John Edwards, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 549.
New York Review of Books, September 25, 1997, J. H. Elliott, review of Philip of Spain, p. 45.
New York Times Book Review, August 10, 1997, Hugh Thomas, review of Philip of Spain, p. 9; April 19, 1998, Richard L. Kagan, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 9; July 1, 2001, Richard Herr, "The Reigns in Spain: A Biography of the Founder of the Bourbon Dynasty Offers a New View," p. 21.
Publishers Weekly, February 9, 1998, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 85; April 9, 2001, review of Philip V of Spain, p. 65.
Renaissance Quarterly, spring, 1999, M. N. Carlos Eire, review of Philip of Spain, p. 243; autumn, 1999, Carla Rahn Phillips, review of The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, p. 891.*