By Raquel A.G. Reyes
Love, Passion and Patriotism is an intimate account of the lives and experiences of a renowned group of young Filipino patriots, the men whose propaganda campaign was a catalyst for the country’s revolt against Spain.
José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, and the brothers Juan and Antonio Luna, were talented writers, artists and scientists who resided in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. As expatriates, they were free from the social constraints of their own society and eager to explore all that Europe had to offer. Their studies exposed them to scientific discourses on the body and novel categorisations of pathology and disease, and they used this knowledge to challenge the religious obscurantism and folk superstition they saw in their home country.
Life in Europe also radically reshaped their ideas of sex and the sexual nature of Filipino women. In Love, Passion and Patriotism, Raquel A. G. Reyes uses the paintings, photographs, political writings, novels and letters of the propagandistas to show the moral contradictions inherent in their passionate patriotism, and their struggle to come to terms with the relative sexual freedom of European women, which they found both alluring and sordid. Provoked by racism and allegations of effeminacy and childishness, they asserted their manliness and urbanity through fashionable European dress, careful grooming and refined deportment, and they demonstrated their courage and virility through fencing, pistol-shooting and dueling.
This book will appeal to scholars and to general readers interested in Southeast Asian studies, the intellectual world of nineteeth-century Southeast Asian expatriates, history of science and medicine, and the social and cultural history of sexuality and gender.
Raquel A.G. REYES is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London.
Critical Dialogues in Southeast Asian Studies Series