Bartolomé de Las Casas is one of the most controversial figures in the Spanish colonization of America. For some, because of his defense of the natives, he is the apostle to the Indians; for others, because of his denunciation of the excesses of the conquest, he is responsible for the Black Legend that has tarnished Spain for centuries.
This novel by the award-winning Spanish author José Luis Olaizola tells the epic story of this singular man. Using the voice of Las Casas, Olaizola describes the various periods of his life: his boyhood in Seville, his hunt for gold in Hispaniola, and his complacent years as a rich cleric and landowner in Cuba. After turning to Christ for mercy, Father Las Casas relinquishes his wealth and devotes himself to defending the dignity of all men.
Olaizola vividly depicts the colorful, contrasting characteristics of the sixteenth century. He shows how fervent greed and passionate faith brought both colossal injustice and heroic holiness to the West Indies. He makes the conquistadores, friars, courtiers, and kings of the age into a striking mosaic within the frame of historical events.
“This beautiful translation of a masterful work affords to new readers a glimpse into the fascinating heritage of sixteenth-century Spanish colonialism, especially as it was illuminated by the deep compassion and spiritual vision of de Las Casas.”—Eleanor Nicholson,Author,A Bloody Habit
“Olaizola gives us a breathing portrait of a soul and the complex world in which he lived. A rich spectrum of personalities is here— a great work of literature and humanity.”— Michael D. O&rsquo: Brien , Author, Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
“ if you’re interested in the early story of the Americas and the history of human rights, this is the book for you. It is also the story of a conversion and the troubled soul that found his vocation among the Indians,”— J. Augustine Wetta, O.S.B., Author, Humility Rules
“ Bartolomé de Las Casas was a man of outstanding honesty and vision. Olaizola’s wonderful novel recounts how the Dominicans converted him from exploitation and murder in the newly discovered Caribbean to teh cause that inspired the rest of his life.”— Lucy Beckett, Author, Postcard from the Volcanco