Islamic Spain: “In this pretty world, gallantry took its last bow”

I have just finished reading a volume that should be a required text for anyone enthusing about how enlightened and tolerant Spain was under Islamic rule in medieval times, The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise by Dario Fernandez-Morera. The enthusiasm for the glories of tolerant Islam is suffused throughout modern scholarship, to the point of embarrassment. It is difficult not to conclude, after one looks at the actual historical facts that the…