Although The Story Was Well-Written But It Was Too Unbelievable Critique of Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance

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Critique of Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance

Texts by Alexandra Cooke and Noble Cooke, Good faith and bona fide ignorance, traces the lives of an early settler of the New World and his two wives. The author’s intention in writing this book was to provide modern readers with a “mirror of a section of Spanish society in the sixteenth century, the middle classes and the petty nobility” (Cook xii). The author explores all aspects of these societies: their values ​​and customs, legal structures, their economy and their domestic life.

The authors weave together the life story of this man with other historical background information, legal procedures and social issues of the time so skillfully that the reader does not get bogged down in mundane details. The writing was lively and interesting; It keeps the reader in suspense as the court case unfolds. Although the trial of bigamy was the main subject of the book, the authors inserted other examples of Spanish law into the text, such as the family of a murdered person could claim against the property of the person who killed him (Cook 2).

In uncovering the trial of Francisco Noguerol, the author relates many aspects of Spanish society, such as the power and control widows were allowed to display in this patriarchal society (as seen through Noguerol’s mother and Doña Catalina). The text also provides examples of life in a Spanish convent through the Sisters of Nougerol. It was very interesting that the nuns who lied to Noguerol were not held responsible for their actions except their brothers. It shows, I believe, how the Catholic Church tried to protect their religious orders from scandal.

The experiences of Doña Beatriz and Doña Catalina show that the Spanish court system tried to protect the rights of women in their society. For Beatriz, she was saved from destitution by her husband’s remarriage, and Catalina from losing the husband with whom she had built a life and home.

The author offers the reader logical motivations for human actions at this time. An example is the reason Noguerol left his homeland for Peru. The authors indicated that her primary motivation was to escape an unwanted marriage, and this seemed highly plausible since she had been away from him for a long time and returned to Spain when he believed her to be dead. Another example is why Dona Beatriz waited until after Noguerol’s death to claim that the marriage was consummated; With him not being able to deny it, he will have more success in winning the trial. His actions made it very clear that he was bitter that Donna had stepped aside for Catalina.

Noguerol was also bitter towards his family for cheating him. This bitterness was demonstrated by the fact that he deliberately disinherited his family in his last will and testament, preferring to devise a line of succession for his property among his wife’s descendants (Cook 137). Dona Catalina’s character, such as her hatred of scandal, is demonstrated by her agreement to settle more money on Dona Beatriz after the death of Noguerol (Cook 143).

In the examples above and many others, the author presents a surprisingly clear picture of Spanish society at the time of the conquest of the Americas. The reader will understand how women were able to evade the Spanish laws that restricted women in this patriarchal society. The Spanish emphasis on values ​​such as honor in the characters of Nogueler, Catalina and Beatriz. The reader can also see how the practice of arranged marriages can cause unexpected disasters among those forced to participate in them. Through their extensive research into church rolls, legal documents, and other materials, Alexandra Cooke and Noble Cooke provide an exciting glimpse into the social history of Spain during a period of constant change due to the exploration and conquest of the Americas.

bibliography

Cook, Alexandra Parma and Noble David Cook. Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance: A Case of Transatlantic Bigamy. Duke University Press, 1991.

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