“Our history has many detractors, yes, but it also has many defenders and many people who want to know it and delve into it,” explains Isabel San Sebastián, novelist, journalist and ABC columnist about the reason for the Historical Novel Week. de Pozuelo de Alarcón, which every year brings together hundreds of people in the city of Madrid eager to learn about a history of Spain without the usual myths and clichés.
The IV edition is held throughout this week, every afternoon starting at 7:00 p.m. the MIRA Theater, with capacity for 700 people. This year’s subtitle is ‘Spain, Captain of the Ocean Sea’, a journey through outstanding events that neither Castilians nor Aragonese have known how to tell the world, and not even their own country.
«We have never, never, never known how to tell our past well, and that has to be remedied. It has probably been because we are a people of action rather than narrative. There are others who are specialists in doing nothing and then putting on a lot of medals in writing, but, on the other hand, we are specialists in doing hard work and then being unable to tell about it”, recalls San Sebastián, who opens the conference this Monday with your conference the ‘Sicilian Vespers’.
«The Sicilian Vespers was a fascinating event, a kind of May 2 in 1286. With a brutal hatred of the population towards the French and a popular insurrection that asked the Aragonese kings to accept the Crown of Sicily. This is how the domination of the Mediterranean began by the Crown of Aragon and later by Spain, which continued until the 18th century”, he points out.
From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
Writers Antonio Pérez Henares, José Calvo Poyato, María Vila and Emilio Lara also participate in this edition, organized by the Writers with History Association and by the Pozuelo de Alarcón town hall. After the opening ceremony in San Sebastián, Tuesday is the turn of ‘Castilla, the fleet that dominated the seas for three centuries and never knew how to tell’, by Pérez Henares. A review of the origins of the Castilian navy from the privileges granted to the Cantabrian ports by Alfonso VII and Alfonso VIII, in the twelfth century.
The writer José Calvo Poyato will speak on Wednesday about ‘Time for discoveries. Elcano and the first trip around the world’, who is the central character of his last two novels. In Thursday’s session, María Vila will deal with ‘Pirates and Corsairs’, from the Barbary corsairs Barbarossa and Dragut in the Mediterranean, to the British pirates who, led by Francis Drake, boasted of having burned the beard of the King of Spain , but they did not go beyond a few loose hairs from the mustache.
The cycle will conclude on Friday with the intervention of the writer Emilio Lara, who will speak with his usual erudition about the reasons for the failure of ‘The Invincible Armada’, the fleet that Felipe II sent against England and ended up colliding with the elements and with a terrible cartography of the Irish coast. That same day, for the third year, the Historical Novel Prize will be awarded at the closing ceremony for new writers, which Alicia Vallina has won jointly for her work ‘La hija del mar’, a novel starring the woman who became posing as a man to join the Spanish Armada in 1793, and David Gómez Domínguez for ‘Fire on Igueriben’, a work set in an episode prior to the Annual disaster.