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Spain- el Cid

Lucy Pick
Scribbler

Postby Lucy Pick » Sun October 3rd, 2010, 8:20 pm

Not sure I'll be at HNS --- I think I can come. Convocation sometimes conflicts, but I think it doesn't this year.

By day, I'm a mild-mannered medieval historian who focusses on Spain. I'm working on an academic book right now on royal daughters and sisters that mostly concentrates on the late eleventh century, so it is very much in my head. Would love to chat with you!

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri October 8th, 2010, 1:54 pm

Well, I wasn't expecting it, but my current read, the Infidel, appears to be about El Cid. Or rather Jimena, his wife. I'm not sure how fast I'll get through it, as so far, 20 pages in, she has hit every medieval cliche in the book. Her people bathe only at birth, use pepper to hide the flavor of spoiled meats (to anybody who still thinks this, please remember that fresh meat was far, far cheaper and more readily available than pepper), wear nothing but itchy wool next to the skin. And of course, the clerics are all impossibly bigoted and nasty, and we are burning random chance-caught infidels at the stake long before the Inquisition. Because she is noble, Jimena has nothing to do except sit in her room all day and pray. Although when she was younger, she was allowed to run about unattended. Give me a break!

Rodrigo Diaz has just been mentioned, and I am cringing at the thought of what this writer will do to him.

Lucy Pick
Scribbler

Postby Lucy Pick » Tue October 12th, 2010, 12:14 pm

MLE, I tried to find a little bit more about this book --- all i could see was one one-line description that had two historical errors in it! Not a good sign.

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue October 12th, 2010, 2:22 pm

!00 pages in, and I don't think I'm going to make it through. The writer seems to have had a 3rd-grade Spanish history book in one hand, a copy of El Cid in the other, and a head full of bad romance novels. Her men are all unbelievably brutish, including the Cid; her women stupid and usually waspish, with the exception of Dona Urraca. In that respect -- 'people then were all so much stupider and more brutish than we are now' it reads like a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. But without the plot or the humor. Put the church--all of it, no exceptions--in the role of Merlin in Twain's book, and you have it.

If you want this copy just for the curiosity factor, (and you're in the US) pm me your address.

Lucy Pick
Scribbler

Postby Lucy Pick » Thu November 4th, 2010, 9:08 pm

Ooo, it just arrived!!! Many thanks! I think?
It looks every bit as ghastly as you said. It's odd though. She clearly has done *some* research --- why not go all the way and actually, you know, come to grips with the period. I am going to have to read at least far enough to get to the part where she is carried off to hunky Hasan's harem in Cordoba.

I guess the other thing that surprises me is hot recent it is --- 1979.

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu November 4th, 2010, 10:09 pm

Did you get an eyeful of the cover? They didn't spend much on the artist--the woman being carried off has her arm stuck down stiff as a mannequin's. Maybe they used a model without articulated limbs...
Actually, I didn't get to that part. Maybe the brutishness in the front was all to highlight how much more civilized the Muslims were? She certainly seems into the over-the-top model of plotting.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Thu November 4th, 2010, 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Fri November 5th, 2010, 5:53 am

fresh meat was far, far cheaper and more readily available than pepper


Now that you mention this, it's kind of obvious. Also, I've eaten a lot of meat heavily spiced with chiles, and overpowering as the chiles might seem, there's no way they would keep me from realizing it if the meat was spoiled.

I do, however, rub fish with turmeric before cooking if the fish is very slightly smelly but still fresh. The smell disappears and the fish tastes delicious. Turmeric has antiseptic qualities, I think, that may be behind this effect. Maybe someone noticed the effect with curry powder and thought it was the hot pepper rather than the turmeric that killed the smell.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Fri November 5th, 2010, 9:09 am

Books in Spanish about El Cid:

El salón dorado by Corral Lafuente
El caballero del Cid by Jose Luis Olaizola
El Cid, el último héroe by Jose Luis Olaizola
El Cid by Eduardo Luis Muntada
Cid Campeador by Martinez Rico
El Cid by Corral Lafuente
Doña Jimena by Magdalena Lasala.
The question is to figure out if any of them have been translated...

The only book I have read about him is Aquel hombre al que llamaron el Cid by Juan Monzon y Ponz, a little mix of novel and nf. Read it in 1988 and I have a fond memory of it.

In the same time-spam, books about Alfonso VI (mostly about him and Zayda):

El libro de los pájaros by Miguel A. Matellanes
La concubina del rey-emperador by Vicenta Marquez de la Plata
Zayda, la pasión del rey by Magdalena Lasala.

About Alfonso VI's sister Urraca:

Urraca. Señora de Zamora by Amalia Gómez
Ha llegado el amor, El doncel de Doña Urraca and La eterna enamorada, trilogy by Rafael Pérez y Pérez

About Alfonso VI's daughter Urraca:

Urraca by Lourdes Ortiz
La reina Urraca by Angeles de Irisarri
Doña Urraca. La reina temeraria by Fco. Navarro Villoslada
Last edited by emr on Fri November 5th, 2010, 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
"So many books, so little time."
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Lucy Pick
Scribbler

Postby Lucy Pick » Fri November 5th, 2010, 11:38 am

Ooo, emr, thanks for these!

I had heard that turmeric had antiseptic and preservative powers. I don't think they had it in the Middle Ages though. *checks sources* No, they don't seem to have used it.

Yes, the cover is quite...special. In addition to how recently it was written, I am also surprised it is in hardcover.


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