Lukács, p. 84.
As Hans Hinterhäuser has shown in his chapter on «La génesis de los 'Episodios Nacionales'» in Los Episodios nacionales de Benito Pérez Galdós, trans. José Escobar (Madrid: Editorial Gredos, 1963), pp. 33-5.
Lukács, p. 35.
Of course La Fontana de Oro also deals with the historical period 1820-3 described in Series II of the Episodios.
Benito Pérez Galdós, Obras Completas, II (Madrid, 1963), p. 111. Cf. Hinterhäuser, p. 187, speaking of this passage: «En la actitud de Galdós, sorprende, en primer lugar, que aplauda y celebre, con el entusiasmo proprio de un precursor, un acontecimiento histórico-social cuyo punto más álgido ya había sido rebasado bastantes lustros antes en España.» Hinterhäuser then notes that Luis Sánchez Agesta dates the «apoteosis de las clases medias en las Cortes» in the year 1844 («Sentido sociológico y político del siglo XIX», Revista de estudios políticos, [Madrid, 1954] ). But Sánchez Agesta refers to a verbal apotheosis, simply praise from the deputies in the sessions of Cortes rather than actual economic and/or social proof of the predominance of industry and commerce over agriculture, which is the essential feature of middle class economy or the numerical superiority of the middle class. That Galdós was interested in the middle class as an instrument for political and social change is evident in every line he wrote on the subject. It was not because they were more amusing or picturesque than the aristocracy or the lowest class that he praised them and devoted so much attention to them. Hence the lack of comprehension of the following generation for Galdós the «garbancero». In accordance with the a-political instincts which they developed in contact with restoration society, the Generation of '98 sought color and adventure in the past, which in their hands becomes stylized and idealized rather than searching for the origins of fruitful historical trends. This change in sensibility has something in common with the post-1848 European phenomenon described by Lukács in his discussion of Flaubert's Salammbô, pp. 183-206.
Lukács, p. 84.
Antonio Ramos Oliveira, Politics, Economics and Men of Modern Spain, trans. Teener Hall (London: Victor Gollancz, 1946), pp. 130-135, traces the economic dilemma of the commercial middle class throughout the restoration, showing how they were burdened with increasingly high taxes imposed by protectionist agriculture and industry. They had either to side with the proletariat or to submit their economic interests to those of the landed oligarchy.
In 1909 while Galdós was working on Series V of the Episodios the Ferrer case provoked demonstrations which made this solidarity quite clear. Luis Sánchez Agesta, Historia del Constitucianalismo Español (Madrid: Instituto de estudios políticos, 1955), pp. 393-4: «Detenido y fusilado su principal inspirador, esta represión, que trató de contenerse por las sociedades secretas y las organizaciones internacionales a que estaba afiliado Ferrer, dio lugar a que las izquierdas, incluidos los mismos partidos dinásticos, hicieran causa común con el anarquismo...»
A detailed account of Canalejas' speech and the stir it created can be read in Fernando Soldevila, El año político (1900) (Madrid, 1901).
Juan Marichal in his very interesting study «Unamuno y la recuperación liberal» (1900-1914), Twentieth Century Spanish Thought and Letters (Nashville, Vanderbilt University Press, 1966), relates this episode to Unamuno's re-entry into liberal thought. Also two letters of Unamuno to Galdós, dated 1901, indicate that his campaign against the Basque language was indirectly caused by an anticlerical attitude; see Joseph Schraibman, «Unamuno y Galdós», in Twentieth Century Spanish Thought and Letters.