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Of Letters and of Sciences

Welcome! This is a blog about literature and books that are critical to any social discourse: literary, cultural, racial, gender-based. A blog for humanists, scholars, the curious, and thinkers and thinkeresses.


Isabella: The Warrior Queen - Kirstin Downey, Kimberly Farr

Kristin Downey is currently acting as an apologist for Isabella and Ferdinand's Inquisition. 

I am having none of it. 


No one thinks Isabella invented the concept of torture. But one cannot escape the novel and institutionalized way the Spanish Inquisition categorized and punished religious difference. 


Religious violence was not invented in 1492, but Downey's long preamble to the Inquisition borders on the offensive: "Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, so religious violence is nothing new, so the Inquisition wasn't so awful."