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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth revealed
A very interesting book, which focuses less on Torquemada than on the political and social climate which led to and later sustained the Spanish Inquisition. Readers should prepare to have some of their popular misconceptions about the Inquisition, its methods and 'madness' obliterated. Sabatini's own opinions on the Inquisition, key political and religious figures of the...
Published on 10 April 2002 by sykander

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Light on Torquemada
I had one question before reading this book, "who was Tomas de Torquemada"? I thought the book would provide some insight into the character of this most evil of men. In three words, I was disappointed.

Firstly, the writing style is archaic. You feel as if the book was written to deliberately confuse even the most avid fans of Shakespearean English. Such a...
Published on 13 May 2005 by A. O. P. Akemu


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth revealed, 10 April 2002
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A very interesting book, which focuses less on Torquemada than on the political and social climate which led to and later sustained the Spanish Inquisition. Readers should prepare to have some of their popular misconceptions about the Inquisition, its methods and 'madness' obliterated. Sabatini's own opinions on the Inquisition, key political and religious figures of the time, and subsequent commentators and historians are readily conveyed, and considering this it is surprising that he hasn't gone on to paint a more damning picture of the Inquisition. The history is illustrated with trials and examples of Torquemada and the Holy Office at work, is well-written (although the style is somewhat archaic and troublesome at times), and often surprising in its revelations. Torquemada himself still remains a touch shaded at the conclusion, however, so if you're looking for a history of the man this is probably more of a decent starting point than a comprehensive biography.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Light on Torquemada, 13 May 2005
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A. O. P. Akemu "Ona" (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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I had one question before reading this book, "who was Tomas de Torquemada"? I thought the book would provide some insight into the character of this most evil of men. In three words, I was disappointed.

Firstly, the writing style is archaic. You feel as if the book was written to deliberately confuse even the most avid fans of Shakespearean English. Such a circuitous style sounds nice and even romantic when reading the poetry of Milton but does nothing to convey the grim "realpolitik" and intrigue of Church and state politics of 16th century Spain.
Secondly, Mr. Sabatini goes overboard in being apologetic to Isabella. He portrays the Queen as an innocent Catholic dove hypnotised by the fire in Fray Torquemada's eyes. Somehow, this is a difficult to believe. Are we to accept that the Isabella who financed Columbus to discover the "New World", who enjoyed the riches accrued thence thereafter was putty in the hands of Torquemada? I suspect that she (and her husband Ferdinand) had real political and material advantage to get by persecuting the Jews and Moslems i.e. by instituting the Inquisition.
Thirdly, the book sheds very little light on the man Torquemada. At the book's end I learnt nothing of his family background and his motivation. Though the book provides some detail on the political situation in the Iberian Peninsula at the time of the Inquisition, he (Mr Sabatini) suggests that the principal reason that the Spanish Inquisition rose to such prominence in Spain was due to the character of Torquemada. Yet, he provides us little insight into this man's character.
If you are looking for some background on Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition then I would not recommend this work.
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Torquemada And The Spanish Inquisition
Torquemada And The Spanish Inquisition by Raphael Sabatini (Paperback - 11 Jan 2008)
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