7 FEBRUARY 1981, Page 18

Spanish ideas

Sir: Your reviewer of Sir Steven Runciman's The First Crusade (10 January) provokes a response to his final line. We do mind 'what the Spaniards have'. In history and historiography the intellectual unrest and change of the past decade have been made as explicit as in political action. The tradition of historical writing set by Vicens Vives and Asin Palacios is continued by Catalan, Castilian and Andalusian writers. Following your reviewer's pattern one might say, 'the Spaniards have new thoughts expressed in two clear languages.' Alexander Eaglestone 16 Shooters Hill Road, Blackheath, London SE3