Caliph Abderramán III was red-haired and had very white skin because his mother was Basque, and Isabel la Católica never neglected her hygiene, contrary to what the topic indicates, because if the History of Spain is full of topics it is also full of curiosities that in some cases are, precisely, because they contradict those topics.
That spirit of historical rigor and not to repeat common places has encouraged the authors of ‘Curiosities of the History of Spain for parents and children’ (Edaf), a illustrated volume that runs from antiquity to the nineteenth century based on brief epigraphs, some of only one paragraph that offer a sometimes unheard of vision of the history of Spain.
The authors are three people from Granada, the historian Fermín Valenzuela, 31, the engineer and military man Manuel Ángel Cuenca, 31, and the illustrator Gloria Cuenca, 36, who also created the publishing project ‘Gestas de España’, of which several deliveries have already been published, also devoted to the dissemination of Spanish history.
Fermín Valenzuela has told Efe that they have tried to arouse the interest of readers about the History of Spain starting from “little known facts” or simply “details” that tend to go unnoticed in other historical works.
They also chose contradict “topics without real basis” that accompany certain historical periods or provide information on historical situations that have traditionally been made known “inaccurately”.
In some cases, “there is a gap between what is historically true and what has been popularly disseminated“, according to Valenzuela, who has assured that ‘Curiosities of the History of Spain for parents and children’ tries to” delve into the history of Spain and clarify that “superficial vision that is sometimes had. It also tries to be” a touch of attention “for those interested in history, since it has been considered that Spain has too many” events and characters whose image does not conform to historical rigor. ”
In addition to the examples of an unkempt Isabel la Católica or Abderramán III, who was so red-haired that she liked to dye herself black and was not an exception either because the first Nasrid king of Granada Muhammad I was known by ‘Alhamar’, which means’ the red ‘by the color of his hair, Fermín Valenzuela clarifies that Spain also had its own corsairs, although these are less known than the English, French and Dutch.
The book consists of five chapters, one of them entitled ‘Demolishing myths’, and its many epigraphs have a nexus or a ‘conductor’, a historical figure like Francisco de Quevedo, who addresses the reader directly and guides them from one chapter to another.
Fermín Valenzuela has ensured that of all the possible characters in the History of Spain, Quevedo was chosen for being a great writer and for being one of the most significant characters of the Golden Age, who also gained a reputation as ‘languid’ for addressing any matter without too many obstacles, and because already in his time he defended Spain and its history from the clichés that already plagued it.
The historian has pointed out that many of the topics that Francisco de Quevedo faced would end up forming part of the so-called Black Legend, along with other propaganda elements of the enemy powers of the Spanish empire.
Valenzuela wanted to conclude by mentioning another character in the book, a woman like Catalina de Aragón, Henry VIII’s first wife, with great intellectual capacity and government gifts, considered the first ambassador in the history of Spain and who came to act as regent in absence of her husband.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.