Women Of Mexico: The Consecrated And The Commoners, 1519-1900. By Bobette Gugliotta. ISBN 9780915745166. 228 pgs. It includes, illustrations, bibliography, and index $19.95.
This collective biography offers an insight into the famous and infamous women in Mexican history to 1900. It weaves a fascinating tale of the ways Mexico’s unsung heroines shaped the history and culture of this nation.
This book examines the lives of women, both royalty and commoner, foreign and native-born, whose unique experiences made a profound and vivid impression on the history of Mexico. It includes descriptions of the original costumes of each era, which, coupled with their compelling stories, entertain an enlightening the reader. Women of Mexico explores they mostly ignore the lives of these women. Their tenacity and grit constitute an exemplary display of courage and determination in the face of danger, disgrace, burning at the stake, and even the firing squad. In these pages, we are impressed by Cortes’s valiant and much-maligned Indian mistress, who acting as translator, guide, diplomat at the Aztec court. She was instrumental in the downfall of the Aztec Empire. The reader will, in fact, empathize with the pride of the age Indian Queen, who stubbornly takes refuge in the temple of her ancestral gods to avoid baptism in the alien new faith of the conquistadores. We sorrow for the brilliant nun whose genius is often compared to that of Leonardo da Vinci for her versatility, and whose intellect and courage bring her great tragedy as well as fame. This is a seminal collective biography of women of Mexico.