Portrait of Dr Mark Lawrence

Dr Mark Lawrence



Dr Mark Lawrence gained his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2008. 

Research interests

Mark is a transnational historian of the modern Hispanic world, with particular interests in Modern Spanish, Mexican and European and military history' 

He is author of the award-winning Spanish Civil Wars, published by Bloomsbury in 2017 (published in Spanish as Las guerras civiles españolas by Alianza in 2019). He is also author of Spain’s First Carlist War, 1833-1840 (New York: Palgrave, 2014), and of Nineteenth-century Spain: a New History (London: Routledge, 2019). 

Mark is currently completing a study of the 1926-29 Cristero war in Mexico’s centre-west (Fighting Cristeros, Bloomsbury, forthcoming), and editing a special issue on global insurgency and counter-insurgency in the nineteenth century. He has published articles and chapters on Napoleonic, Spanish and Mexican history, and has presented his research at several international academic conferences. 


Mark teaches on aspects of military history.


Mark would be interested in hearing from prospective postgraduate students who wish to explore war and society topics in modern Spain and Mexico.


Mark has a professional background in interpreting and literary translation and has a fluent command of German and Spanish (European and Latin American). In addition to his published research he has communicated his research findings at public lectures in the UK and Mexico and in television and radio outputs in Spain and Mexico.



  • Lawrence, M. (2019). The First Carlist War (1833–40), insurgency, Ramón Cabrera, and expeditionary warfare. Small Wars & Insurgencies [Online] 30:797-817. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2019.1638539.
    The period 1833 to 1840 witnessed a brutal civil war in Spain waged between insurgent Carlists and the government Cristinos. The Carlists managed to secure reliable territorial control only over one part of Spain (upland Navarra and rural parts of the neighbouring Basque provinces). Although pockets of armed Carlism flourished elsewhere in Spain, especially in Catalonia, Aragón and Galicia, these insurgents were ineffective at coordinating actions. The Carlist court in the Basque country tried to break its strategic blockade by launching a series of expeditions into Cristino-held territory in the hope of destabilising the Madrid regime and consolidating distant insurrections. This article explains how and why these expeditions scored tactical victories but strategic failures. In particular it argues that Carlist raiding strategy was a failure, for its use of violence against real and imagined enemies in marginal and Cristino areas of control alienated civilian support.
  • Lawrence, M. (2019). Why a nineteenth-century study?. Small Wars & Insurgencies [Online] 30:719-733. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2019.1638563.
  • Lawrence, M. (2016). Playing the Man, not the Ball: Ramón Ceruti and Trans-Atlantic Careerism in Mexico’s First Federal Republic and Spain’s Liberal Revolution. Bulletin of Spanish Studies [Online]:0-0. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14753820.2016.1172835.
    This article studies Mexico's First Federal Republic from a transnational, biographical perspective. Using the example of the Spanish émigré, Ramón Ceruti, it argues that transatlantic links between Spanish and Mexican liberalism should be understood not just in conceptual but also careerist terms. It revisits the image of the traitor in Mexican historiography and Spain's liberal revolution, by showing how the personalism and opportunism rife in early Mexican and Spanish liberalism shaped not only political ideology but also tactics to a remarkable degree. It shows that the popular memory of individual political actions influenced liberal discourse to a larger degree than is usually acknowledged. It does this by tracing the transatlantic radical, nativist and then conservative career of Ramón Ceruti over the fifteen years between the fall of Spain's trienio constitucional, Mexico's First Federal Republic and his betrayal of radicalism during the First Carlist War.
  • Lawrence, M. (2014). Poachers turned Gamekeepers: A Study of the Guerrilla Phenomenon in Spain, 1808-1840. Small Wars and Insurgencies [Online] 25:843-857. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2013.832930.
    This article modifies the associations made by historians and political scientists of Spanish guerrilla warfare with revolutionary insurgency. First, it explains how the guerrilla phenomenon moved from a Leftist to a reactionary symbol. Second, it compares the insurgency and counter-insurgency features of the Carlist War (1833 – 1840) with those of the better-known Peninsular War (1808 – 1814). Third, it shows how erstwhile guerrilla leaders during the Carlist War made their expertise available to the counter-insurgency, in a socio-economic as well as military setting. This article revises the social banditry paradigm in nineteenth-century Spain in the under-researched context of Europe bloodiest nineteenth-century civil war.
  • Lawrence, M. (2012). Peninsularity and patriotism: Spanish and British approaches to the Peninsular War, 1808–14. Historical Research [Online] 85:453-468. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2281.2012.00594.x.
    The Peninsular War until recently has failed to receive comprehensive and critical attention from Spanish and British historians, their outputs having been partial, narrative and ideological in nature. While Spanish scholars have contested the meaning of the ‘nation’ forged during the 1808–14 war so bitterly that they have been slow to establish a synthesis, British scholars have tended not to venture beyond Anglocentrism. Starting in the nineteen-fifties, however, modern historical methods began to change this situation. Since the nineteen-nineties a ‘new military history’ approach has influenced Peninsular War historiography, allowing, for the first time, for a ‘total’ history of the conflict.


  • Lawrence, M. (2019). Nineteenth-Century Spain: A New History. Routledge.
  • Lawrence, M. (2019). Las Guerras Civiles españolas: Una Historia Comparada De La Primera Guerra Carlista Y El Conflicto De 1936-1939. Madrid, Spain: Alianza Editorial.
    ¿Tienen alguna relación la Guerra Civil Española con las guerras carlistas del siglo XIX? Mark Lawrence nos propone una nueva visión de la Guerra Civil de 1936 a partir del antecedente de la Primera Guerra Carlista, que tuvo lugar entre 1833 y 1840, con la que tiene muchos paralelismos, nacionales e internacionales, a pesar de los cien años que las separan. Lawrence nos ofrece una historia comparada de estas guerras, así como del impacto que tuvieron estos conflictos tanto en el marco nacional como internacional. Nos muestra que nuestras guerras civiles fueron guerras mundiales en miniatura, en las que combatieron voluntarios extranjeros bajo la mirada y conciencia política del mundo exterior, llegando a la conclusión de que el conflicto bélico de 1936 supuso la derrota de las libertades conquistadas en la Primera Guerra Carlista. Al mismo tiempo que analiza cómo y por qué España perdió cien años después aquellas libertades conseguidas en la década de 1830.
    "Las guerras civiles españolas" se divide en dos partes, una nacional y otra internacional, cada una con capítulos temáticos en los que se comparan dichas guerras en detalle. Se estudian desde el ámbito político, social y militar, pero también desde el ángulo del género, la cultura, el nacionalismo y el separatismo, la economía, la religión y, sobre todo, el contexto internacional. El libro es fruto de una profunda investigación en distintos archivos internacionales, así como del estudio de los últimos trabajos sobre la materia. Un libro fundamental, de referencia, tanto para estudiantes y estudiosos del tema como para el gran público, que ofrece una nueva perspectiva, tan original como interesante, sobre la Guerra Civil Española.
  • Lawrence, M. (2017). The Spanish Civil Wars: A Comparative Study of the First Carlist War and the Conflict of the 1930s. [Online]. London, UK: Bloomsbury. Available at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/9781474229425.
    This book provides a comparative history of the domestic and international nature of Spain's First Carlist War (1833-40) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), as well as the impact of both conflicts.

    The book demonstrates how and why Spain's struggle for liberty was won in the 1830s only for it to be lost one hundred years later. It shows how both civil wars were world wars in miniature, fought in part by foreign volunteers under the gaze and in the political consciousness of the outside world.

    Prefaced by a short introduction, The Spanish Civil Wars is arranged into two domestic and international sections, each with three thematic chapters comparing each civil war in detail. The main analytical perspectives are political, social and new military history in nature, but they also explore aspects of gender, culture, nationalism and separatism, economy, religion and, especially, the war in its international context. The book integrates international archival research with the latest scholarship on both subjects and also includes a glossary, a bibliography and several images.

    It is a key resource tailored to the needs of students and scholars of modern Spain which offers an intriguing and original new perspective on the Spanish Civil War.
  • Lawrence, M. (2014). Spain’s First Carlist War, 1833-40. [Online]. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137401748.
    Spain's First Carlist War was an unlikely agent of modernity. It pitted town against country, subalterns against elites, and Europe's Liberal powers against Absolute Monarchies. This book traces the individual, collective and international experience of this conflict, giving equal attention to battle fronts and home fronts.

Book section

  • Lawrence, M. (2018). 1835: La primera guerra callista se globaliza. In: Nunez Seixas, X. M. ed. Historia Mundial De España. Madrid: Destino.
  • Lawrence, M. (2018). Juan Álvarez Mendizábal. In: Alvarez Junco, J. and Shubert, A. eds. Nueva Historia De La España contemporánea (1808-2018). Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, pp. 632-643.
  • Lawrence, M. (2017). Juan Álvarez Mendizábal. In: The History of Modern Spain: Chronologies, Themes, Individuals. Bloomsbury. Available at: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-history-of-modern-spain-9781472592002/.
  • Lawrence, M. (2008). Las viudas de Comares: un caso de radicalismo popular en la Málaga libera. In: Visiones Del Liberalismo: Política, Identidad Y Cultura En La España Del Siglo XIX. Valencia.

Conference or workshop item

  • Lawrence, M. (2009). Constitutional Catechism and the Crowd », La Révolution française [En ligne], Les catéchismes républicains, mis en ligne le 16 novembre 2009. Available at: http://lrf.revues.org/index119.html.

Internet publication

  • Lawrence, M. (2019). Las Guerras Civiles españolas [Internet]. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.es/entry/las-guerras-civiles-espanolas_es_5d5d874ae4b03b44f416311b.


  • Lawrence, M. (2017). Review of Is Spain Different? A Comparative Look at the 19th and 20th Centuries. Edited by Nigel Townson Townson, N. ed. History [Online] 102:711-712. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-229X.12495/full.
  • Lawrence, M. (2013). Frederick C Schneid, Napoleonic Wars. The Essential Bibliography Series (2012). Journal of Military History [Online] 77:695-696. Available at: http://www.smh-hq.org/jmh/jmhvols/772.html.
  • Lawrence, M. (2011). Marcela García Sebastiani and Fernando del Rey Reguillo (eds.), Los desafíos de la libertad: Transformación y crisis del liberalismo en Europa y América Latina, Colección Historia, Madrid, Editorial Biblioteca Nueva, 2008. Bulletin of Spanish Studies [Online] 88:605-608. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14753820.2011.583132.
  • Lawrence, M. (2011). Ronald Fraser, Napoleon’s Cursed War: Popular Resistance in the Spanish Peninsular War (London, 2008). European History Quarterly [Online] 41:126-128. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02656914110410010612.
  • Lawrence, M. (2010). Guy Thomson, The Birth of Modern Politics in Spain. Reviews in History [Online]:0-0. Available at: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/956.
  • Lawrence, M. (2009). Ronald Fraser, Napoleon’s Cursed War: Popular Resistance in the Spanish Peninsular War (London, 2008). Reviews in History [Online]:0-0. Available at: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/727.
  • Lawrence, M. (2006). Francisco Gago Jover, Fernando Tejedo Herrero, Diccionario Militar de Raimundo Sanz (Zaragoza, 2007). Bulletin of Hispanic Studies [Online] 85:0-0. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3828/bhs.85.3.8.
  • Lawrence, M. (2006). Manuel Pablo Maza Miquel, S.J., Por la vida y el honor: el presbítero Félix Varela en las cortes de España, 1822-1823 (Santo Domingo, 2000). Catholic Historical Review [Online] 92:680-682. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cat.2007.0032.


  • Lawrence, M. (2020). Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Centre-West Mexico, 1926-29: Fighting Cristeros. Bloomsbury.
  • Lawrence, M. (2019). From Restoration to Indoctrination: Liberals, Reactionaries and the People in Spain, 1814-23. In: Broers, M., Caiani, A. A. and Bann, S. eds. A History of the European Restorations, Vol. II: Culture, Society and Religion. Bloomsbury.
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