This article, published in 1988, has been selected not only because it gives an acute overview of Gald6s's work and its relation to contemporary history, but because it attempts to respond to the challenge to Marxist criticism posed by the current critical rejection of representationalism. Earlier historical studies of Gald6s's novels (e.g. Ribbans, Bly, 1983) tended to catalogue the historical references and abstract an authorial point of view on the events and figures referred to. Blanco Aguinaga, author since the 1960s of a stream of Marxist studies of Gald6s's work, is careful in this article to avoid the realist fallacy. He takes on board the work of more recent Marxist theorists such as Fredric Jameson (1980, The Political Unconscious, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York), who are concerned with the way history shapes not the overt content but the underlying structure of the text. This essay offers a subtle understanding of the way Gald6s responds to historical possibilities. It also offers a large amount of information about the period, succinctly analysed. (Incidentally, Blanco Aguinaga's view of the Restoration as the marriage of antagonistic forces fits nicely with Urey's preceding piece on the blurring of oppositions in Gald6s's work.) Gald6s's historical fiction is briefly discussed, but the main focus is on his contemporary novels.