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Book Reviews

Book Reviews Marianna D. Birnbaum, The Long Journey of Gracia Mendes, Budapest and New York: CEU Press, 2003, 147 pp. + 14 ill., $24.95 (pb), ISBN 963-9241-67-9 Book Review by Liliana Simeonova Institute of Balkan Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria Marianna Birnbaum's monograph reads like a novel: one keeps turning the pages with a growing eagerness to find out what is to happen next, all the way to the end. The pervading theme of the book is the exceptional life story of a woman who was at once the widow and sister-in-law of two rich spice merchants with business interests that extended across half the world; a highly skilled business person in her own right; a money-lender who had dealings with princes; an influential person who meddled with politics in more than one country; a patron of literature; a helper of `secret Jews' who were trying to escape persecution in sixteenth-century Europe; and the guardian, mother and aunt of two fabulously rich young heiresses whom many an ambitious man wished to marry. The case of Gracia Mendes, one of several names that she used in her lifetime, is not exceptional in terms of her economic activities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aspasia Berghahn Books

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Publisher
Berghahn Books
Copyright
© 2022 Berghahn Books
ISSN
1933-2882
eISSN
1933-2890
DOI
10.3167/asp.2009.030115
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Marianna D. Birnbaum, The Long Journey of Gracia Mendes, Budapest and New York: CEU Press, 2003, 147 pp. + 14 ill., $24.95 (pb), ISBN 963-9241-67-9 Book Review by Liliana Simeonova Institute of Balkan Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria Marianna Birnbaum's monograph reads like a novel: one keeps turning the pages with a growing eagerness to find out what is to happen next, all the way to the end. The pervading theme of the book is the exceptional life story of a woman who was at once the widow and sister-in-law of two rich spice merchants with business interests that extended across half the world; a highly skilled business person in her own right; a money-lender who had dealings with princes; an influential person who meddled with politics in more than one country; a patron of literature; a helper of `secret Jews' who were trying to escape persecution in sixteenth-century Europe; and the guardian, mother and aunt of two fabulously rich young heiresses whom many an ambitious man wished to marry. The case of Gracia Mendes, one of several names that she used in her lifetime, is not exceptional in terms of her economic activities.

Journal

AspasiaBerghahn Books

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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