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"The Last Jew"

2020 Camino Guides

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
On the VDLP, I visited several medieval Jewish quarters, including Hervas and Cordoba. Since returning home, I've been reading "The Last Jew" by Noah Gordon. This concerns the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. The hero travels all around Spain in disguise. This book is highly recommended if you are a fan of historical fiction.

Ed Aster

Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2017
Interesting that you would call it historical fiction, the families of those dispossessed might think differently.

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Interesting that you would call it historical fiction, the families of those dispossessed might think differently.
It IS historical fiction, by definition. The characters are fictional (created by the author), but they are put in setting that is described in a way that is generally consistent with historical fact. However, the author may play with historical details a bit, so it cannot be relied as a non-fiction history book. For example, does anyone really know if King Whoever actually had that conversation with his mistress on that day? Or a rainy day might be invented for some date in history, in order to help the author with the story line.

The term "historical fiction" in no way suggests that the historical context is a fabrication. Au contraire - the historical context is generally true but the details of the characters' lives and conversations are invented, and the historical details may also be adjusted for convenience.

The families of the dispossessed would surely prefer that we understand what is fact and what is fiction. There is a valuable role for both, but it is good to understand the distinction.


Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
Many of the Sephardi Jews from Spain ended up in Istanbul, where they prospered. It is quite strange to hear people in Istanbul speaking a version of Spanish called Ladino on the streets. They are quite happy to show you round their Synagogue. There are also Sephardis in Gibralter, which may have made them the only legal Jews in the Iberian peninsular for a period of time.

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