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Letters from the Inquisition Paperback – November 5, 2010
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"This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental."
If you happen to miss this one tiny little paragraph before starting to read the intro, like I did, and go on to read the rest of the book you could very well assume that everything being presented in this book is real and authentic. Who reads the fine print in the copyright section of a book? I usually don't.
The author keeps calling these letters "translations". Translations of what? It clearly states in the front of this book in that one tiny little paragraph that this is a work of fiction. He claims that his observations are inserted in brackets during the letters so that they wouldn't interfere with the content of the letters. He claims that the original authors of these letters capitalized the word Inquisitor so he will too in this book. He also actually describes how each letter was found in great detail. For one letter he claims that workers, during an excavation, found a small locked wooden chest underneath the old Santa Maria church in Talavera, Spain. He says that the local church seized the chest hoping that it contained more than just documents. They ended up giving it to the Spanish government and a researcher reconstructed the letter later on. He presents each letter just as if they were actually written by a real priest from the 1500s. He gives great detail on who these letters were addressed to and why they were sent. The content of these letters are also based on actual historical events. Everything about these letters seems real.
He then gives detailed accounts of the torture of several people, as he states "from the secret archives of the Vatican". But, again these are not real. They were not discovered from the secret archives of the Vatican. They were just made up by the author. He speaks of a Examination of Conscience Project that opened the Vatican library and the secret archives and led to the discovery of the letters in this book. Again, not real. Why would anyone want to read this?
The writer says that the original official church catalogue of documents offers no explanation as to the subject matter of these letters and only lists them as "letter to Br. Phillip(Dom), by Joshua (Dom), 1523, 32. Pages. But this is even made up! The author claims that the inquisitor in his letters is Raimundo de Toledo and he even includes his translation of his confession that reads like a fictitious sadistic porn novel just like the details given in the letters that make up most of this book. Again, all this is made up by the author.
How does ANY of this make any sense if he just made all this up?
I am just scratching my head wondering why this book was even written and why it tries to portray itself as actual letters written by a real priest during the Spanish Inquisition. Why would anyone want to read letters about a real event in history that are fictitiously created? Why? This point should have been clearly made on the back cover or in the intro of the book but it's not.