The Cartas Marruecas by Cadalso, one of the most representative writers of the Spanish Enlightenment, is the author’s best known and most highly appreciated work, being famous for focussing on Spanish XVIII epistolary prose. Partially influenced by reading Lettres persanes by Montesquieu and The Citizen of the World by Goldsmith, the work introduces three correspondents (one Spaniard and two Moroccans) who exchange letters dealing with past and present Spanish customs, with the aim of reaching an objective view of the situation. The letters, actually essays on many different subjects, also address current issues for the period. It is worthy of note that Cadalso devoted particular attention to the moral decline and financial difficulties of the Spanish aristocracy as the crucial factor in the deterioration of the country. Thus the 18th century Spanish aristocracy was to be one of the author’s satirical targets and constantly referred to in many of the letters.
enlightenment; aristocracy; epistolary; satire