14th – 17th November 2019

The Moor’s Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End

Price: Standard £12, Senior Citizens £8, Children £8

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The Moor’s Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End

Dr Elizabeth Drayson



10:00am 1h
The Gibraltar Garrison Library (Festival HQ)

In 1482, Abu Abdallah Muhammad XI became the twenty-third Muslim King of Granada. He would be the last. In this first history of the ruler, known as Boabdil, whose disastrous reign and bitter defeat brought seven centuries of Moorish Spain to an end, Elizabeth Drayson tells an action-packed story of intrigue, treachery, courtliness, bravery and tragedy.

Basing her vivid account on original documents and sources, she traces the origins and development of Islamic Spain. She describes the thirteenth-century founding of the Nasrid dynasty, the cultured and stable society it created, and the feuding which threatened it and had all but destroyed it by 1482, when Boabdil seized the throne. The new Sultan faced betrayals by his family, factions in the Alhambra palace, and increasingly powerful onslaughts from the forces of Ferdinand and Isabella, monarchs of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.

By stratagem, diplomacy and courage Boabdil prolonged his reign for ten years, but he never had much chance of survival. In 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella, magnificently attired in Moorish costume, entered Granada and took possession of the city. Boabdil went into exile. The Christian reconquest of Spain, that has reverberated so powerfully down the centuries, was complete.