Frances Calderón de la Barca (Hardcover)
Xlibris Us, 9781514421376, 402pp.
Publication Date: January 7, 2016
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Frances Erskine Inglis, daughter of a prominent lawyer and Freemason, was born in Edinburgh in 1804. As the Marquesa de Calderón de la Barca, she died in Madrid's Royal Palace in 1882. During her life she was a teacher, legation hostess, and successful author, remembered now for her travel classic Life in Mexico and semi-fictional The Attaché in Madrid. But her books tell nothing about the greater part of her far-ranging career, which led through a half-dozen countries in response to bankruptcy, extortion, marriage, diplomacy, and revolution. For this colorful biography the authors have drawn from many sources, including contemporary memoirs, diaries, and numerous letters by and about Madame Calderón. Sometimes her trenchant commentary on people and places flared into newspaper controversy. From all that can be discovered about her, she emerges as a person of high abilities, energy, and nerve. In addition to the spirited woman at the center of the story, there are also her extraordinary family and a cast of memorable minor characters.
About the Author
Before her marriage, Marion Hall worked for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Her future husband, Howard T. Fisher, was an architect and later the founder of the Laboratory for Computer Graphics at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. When Marion and Howard married in 1939, they each had previously read and relished Frances Calderón de la Barca's Life in Mexico, published in 1843. As a hobby that enriched their frequent visits to Mexico over a period of a quarter-century, the Fishers created the highly praised 1966 Doubleday edition of Madame Calderón's vivid classic. After finishing that project, they turned to this biography. Although they died before shaping the book into final form, it has been completed by their son Alan H. Fisher, a lawyer and guidebook writer. For him Madame Calderón has been like a close relative since the time of his earliest memories.