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Captain from Castille
Captain from Castille
Author: Samuel Shellabarger
First novel from historical fiction author Shellabarger. First printing, but missing the dust jacket. Has a bookplate from previous owner inside.
ISBN: 335957
Publication Date: 1945
Pages: 503

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Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Book Type: Hardcover
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It is 16th century Spain (1518 at the onset). Pabre Le Vargas! He cannot mind his own business; now the Inquisition has a hold on him and his family, denounced by the local wealthy rapscallion. Le Vargas manages to run a sword thru him and escape, of course. Hah! I say. Here is an author not afraid to bring about the demise of a villain early in his novel; someone else now has an opportunity to rise to the heights of evil. Le Vargas sails for the New World, there to join with Cortez and to rejoice in the plunder and extermination of the Aztecs. (See note below) Thus, he becomes a hero. Wait! The villain has survived the sword thrustit touched neither artery, nor vein, nor capillaryand is back better than ever. Of course, all is made well at the end as villain gets his just desserts. Here is another forgotten author who deserves much better recognition than some old, poorly made renditions of his manuscripts.
Note: The campaign in Mexico gets a great deal of detail and interestingly the author mentions twice Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who took part in the campaign and later wrote the definitive history of it (The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico). It might be interesting to compare this novel to Diazs account and to that of William S. Prescott (The Conquest of Mexico).