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By Oudshoorn W.

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This connection may well have helped Gayangos to enter Lord Holland’s circle in London in 1837. Moreover, while employed as a translator in Madrid, Gayangos met the famous liberal poet, writer and politician, Manuel José Quintana, then the Secretario de Interpretación de Lenguas and therefore his boss. Their department was located on the ground floor of the Palacio Real, that is, in the same building as all the other institutional divisions where Gayangos would be employed in the 1830s: what would later become the National Library, the Museum of Antiquities and the Royal Archive.

Thirteen — 30 — 996 02 pages 001-250:Layout 1 24/9/08 12:20 Page 31 gayangos and the world of politics years later Gayangos and González de Vera accepted the second commission, which consisted in proving Spain’s rights over its possessions in America, Asia and Oceania. This commission allowed Gayangos to immerse himself again in his research on Habsburg Spain in the British archives between 1868 and 1869. The commission regarding Africa exposes the connection between nineteenth-century Arabist scholarship and Spain’s developing colonial ambitions in various parts of the African continent, especially in the north.

In the same period, he was also a member of the Society of Antiquaries of London and of the Geographical Society. In addition to the Spanish ones, throughout his life Gayangos belonged to a number of other foreign scientific societies. To quote just the membership documented by his personal papers at the RAH: American Academy of Arts and Sciences of Boston, 1842; Societé Asiatique de Paris, 1844; Kaiserlichen Akademien der Wissenschaften of Viena, 1852; Academia da Sciencias de Lisboa, 1852 and 1856; Institut Impérial de France, 1856; Kongl.

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