At the Al-Hambra, I was surprised to find that the English-language self-guided audio tour consists almost entirely of quotes from a book the American writer Washington Irving published in 1832: Tales of the AlHambra (Wikipedia; Full text). The historian Richard Fletcher, in his book Moorish Spain, laments how Irving and a British contemporary, Richard Ford (author of Handbook for Travellers in Spain, 1845), helped through his account to shape a 'romanticized' vision of Moorish Spain in the English-speaking world -- an account that uses a kind of positive or approving Orientalism to invoke a palace life full of intrigues, impossible grandiosity, and mystery. Here's an excerpt from Irving's book, which is also included in the section of the self-guided Audio Tour of the Al-Hambra I listened to:
Muley Abul Hassan, in his youthful days, had married his cousin, the princess Ayxa la Horra, daughter of his uncle, the ill-starred sultan, Muhamed the Left-handed; by her he had two sons, the eldest of whom was Boabdil, heir presumptive to the throne. Unfortunately at an advanced age he took another wife, Isabella de Solis, a young and beautiful Christian captive; better known by her Moorish appellation of Zoraya; by her he had also two sons. Two factions were produced in the palace by the rivalry of the sultanas, who were each anxious to secure for their children the succession to the throne. Zoraya was supported by the vizier Abul Cacim Venegas, his brother Reduan Venegas, and their numerous connections, partly through sympathy with her as being, like themselves, of Christian lineage, and partly because they saw she was the favorite of the doting monarch.
The Abencerrages, on the contrary, rallied round the sultana Ayxa; partly through hereditary opposition to the family of Venegas, but chiefly, no doubt, through a strong feeling of loyalty to her as daughter of Muhamed Alhayzari, the ancient benefactor of their line.
The dissensions of the palace went on increasing. Intrigues of all kinds took place, as is usual in royal palaces. Suspicions were artfully instilled in the mind of Muley Abul Hassan that Ayxa was engaged in a plot to depose him and put her son Boabdil on the throne. In his first transports of rage he confined them both in the Tower of Comares, threatening the life of Boabdil. At dead of night the anxious mother lowered her son from a window of the tower by the scarfs of herself and her female attendants; and some of her adherents, who were in waiting with swift horses, bore him away to the Alpuxarras. It is this imprisonment of the sultana Ayxa which possibly gave rise to the fable of the queen of Boabdil being confined by him in a tower to be tried for her life. No other shadow of a ground exists for it, and here we find the tyrant jailer was his father, and the captive sultana, his mother.
The massacre of the Abencerrages in the halls of the Alhambra, is placed by some about this time, and attributed also to Muley Abul Hassan, on suspicion of their being concerned in the conspiracy.
For better or for worse, the government of Spain continues to encourage Irving's image of Granada and the Al-Hambra for Anglophone tourists to this day. (I am curious to know whether the Spanish-language personal audio tours also use Washington Irving's book as a primary source. While I was there it didn't occur to me to ask.)