Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Do You Have A Recommendation?

Reading Naomi Regan's novel The Ghost of Hannah Mendes has made me realize that my knowledge of this period in Jewish history is severely lacking. While the back of Ragen's book cites "Expulsion 1492 Chronicles" as one of her references, a search on Fetchbook shows it to be very expensive. The references listed on Wikipedia also seem to be a little too cerebral for me.

Artscroll has a book entitled The Exiles of Crocodile Island about "a community of children torn from their homes by the Inquisition and their defiant struggle to keep their faith", however it appears that this is a novel for young adults and not a work of non-fiction.

Does anyone know a good non-fiction book in English on the history of the Spanish Inquisition? [preferably from a religious Jewish perspective]

Remember, I am just A Simple Jew and do not like books with more footnotes than actual text.


At November 9, 2005 at 3:25:00 PM EST, Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

I would start with Solomon Grayzel's "A History of the Jews". It's a textbook, but available in paperback, so not very expensive. The main criticism I've heard of this book is that it tends to focus on the bad parts of Jewish History. You might also try the Encyclopedia Judaica, if you have it or have access to a shul or school library that does. (My set cost me about $650, but I've heard that the CD-Rom version is more like $300.)There is a long article about the Jews in Spain that covers the Inquistion time period, and another about the Inquisition.

At November 9, 2005 at 3:33:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Tuesdaywishes: Thank you for your comment. I am looking for a book devoted to the history of the Spanish Inquisition, and not just a book on general Jewish history. I appreciate your suggestions nevertheless.

At November 9, 2005 at 7:23:00 PM EST, Blogger Anshel's Wife said...

Saw an add for the Judaica Encyclopedia or something like that on shmais. Here is the website for the book, on sale for $39.95 until Chanukah.

At November 10, 2005 at 12:25:00 AM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

ASJ, have not heard these, but they may be what you are looking for. Not books, but two tapes series on the Spanish Inquisition from frum historian Berel Wein, each for $9:

And a couple of articles which reference the topic as well:

Hope these are helpful...

At November 10, 2005 at 5:48:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

I would go with McAryeh! Rabbi Wein's command of Jewish history is phenomenal, and it's from a Torah-true viewpoint, which is equally important. Rav Wein's history books, such as "Herald of Destiny" [750-1650 CE] and "Triumph of Survival" [1650 CE - the Modern Era] are masterpieces of Jewish history. The former one would cover the period you're interested in.

best regards from Yerushalayim!

At November 10, 2005 at 6:41:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yetta, MCAryeh, and Yitz: Thanks for the recommendations! :)

At November 13, 2005 at 5:30:00 PM EST, Blogger Philly Farmgirl said...

This is my background ASJ so here are my recommendations. I hope you find them helpful.
"Secrecy and Deceit" David Gitlitz
"The Mezzuzah in the Madonna's Foot" Trudi Alexy
"Dona Gracia" Cecil Roth (not the easiest read but worth it, what the novel you read is based on)
"The Cross and the Pear Tree" Victor Perrera
"The Woman who Defied Kings" Andree Aelion
"The Cross by Day, the Mezzuzah by night" Deborah Siegel ( a young adult novel but really good)
"The Grandees: America's Sephardic Elite" Stephen Burmingham
And as always try a search on Google. °Ü°
Happy reading!

At November 13, 2005 at 6:45:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Philly Farmgirl: Thank you for the suggestions. I actually was able to find a used copy of Cecil Roth's "History of the Marannos" that I plan to read in the near future. I will take a look at the books you recommended as well :)


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