Book coverWe are pleased to announce the publication of Portuguese Studies 33.2, a general rather than themed issue, so that it covers a wide variety of topics. For a while the cover was going to be Lisbon Cathedral (because of Beatriz Catão Cruz Santos's article about villancicos, a sort of semi-popular-song cantata sung in the 17th and 18th century). But almost all shots of Lisbon Cathedral are really shots of the tram network, which passes very photogenically in front of the house of God. There's a whole Wikimedia Commons category for this.

We ended up with a fascinatingly overdone lithograph of the Portuguese constitution of 1826 — one of various historical attempts to put the government of Portugal onto a more regular legal footing. Sometimes constitutions are a bid for modernity — best practice, cutting edge legal thought, putting our country at the forefront of the future, etc. — but this one looks more like personal propaganda. Look what a statesman I am, with my plan for the future rolled across my table like a scroll.

The journal Portuguese Studies also has a constitution, more or less: there's a rotating chair, so that each of the seven Editorial Board members spends a year as monarch. Following this issue, Claire Williams hands over to Hilary Owen.

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