1492

Newton Frohlich, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (404p) ISBN 978-0-312-05041-2
Who was the real Christopher Columbus? In Frohlich's captivating, extraordinarily vivid first novel, the white-haired widower and sea captain who alternately called himself Colombo, Colomo and Colon (never Columbus) was a Marrano, or converted Jew, an idealist who believed it his destiny to be ``a light to the Gentiles.'' Frohlich, an attorney, spent eight years researching his book and brings remarkable realism to his chilling depiction of the fanaticism fueling the Inquisition. Queen Isabel is a merciless, sadistic, money-mad anti-Semite, and King Fernando henpecked. Among the other compelling characterizations are Beatriz, Columbus's outspoken Jewish mistress, cousin of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada; and Boabdil, a weakling who deposes his own father to become sultan of Granada. Except for some patches of self-conscious dialogue, this is a convincing, detailed re-creation of the Old World on the brink of discovery. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8439-3196-9
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-0-9960484-5-3
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