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Book Title: Memorial del Convento|
The author of the book: José Saramago
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Date of issue: January 1st 2012
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.43 MB
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King John V ( the Magnanimous ) of Portugal, is a frustrated man, to continue the royal dynasty, children are obviously needed, ( set back in the year of our Lord, 1711) married two years to the devout Austrian Princess Maria Ana, and yet no babies, at twenty -one, the good-looking monarch feels a little insulted, because of his failures, but the House of Braganza will eventually rule for almost 300 years, this small, still wealthy land then, besides, other women have proven, it's not his fault. So when a Franciscan (St.Francis) friar promises that God will grant the King his wish, through their prayers, if a convent, (monastery) is built for that religious order, John the Fifth agrees readily, as soon as the Queen gives birth... happily, it occurs later in the year, just a daughter though, but next time a glorious son...The vast Portuguese Empire in Asia, Africa and South America, is very rich, money keeps flowing into the royal treasury, they are the envy of the rest of Europe, the all-powerful king can do anything he wants. Mafra, a small town about 17 miles outside Lisbon, is chosen for the project's site, at the lower end of the totem pole is an ex, disabled soldier, by the name of Baltasar Mateus, nicknamed "Seven Suns". He fought for his Royal Highness against arch enemy Spain, leaving his left hand somewhere in that country, but the authorities have short memories, the patriot, has no value to them now. He meets a young woman in magnificent Lisbon, by the name of Blimunda, not the most romantic, enjoyable event, her disturbed mother, found guilty of heresy, is being exiled to Angola, in Africa, but first, a public flogging, seen by thousands of curious people, she will never return home, it's the time of the Inquisition . Baltasar has been trying hopelessly, to get a government pension, in the city, with the help of Padre Bartolomeu Lourenco, a historical figure, known as the "Flying Man", because he was building a fantastic, flying machine, the young King is strangely supporting this bold endeavor .The former soldier had become friends with the brilliant, but unstable priest, the two, Baltasar, and Blimunda, help assemble the flying machine for the padre... Still rulers don't like to give money away, no pension, so the new couple decide to go back to Mafra, Baltasar home town, his good parents and sister live there and greet him with tears in their eyes, after so many long years apart. Imagine, 45,000 workers, employed in this massive project, building an enormous monastery, that constantly gets bigger and bigger, the King, is like a kid in a candy shop, never mind the expense, he can't help himself, a fabulous palace for the royals also, will be erected, even a poor, one -handed man can get a paying job here. By the way, the intelligent Blimunda has a dark secret, she can see inside the bodies of people, with X -ray eyes and check their health, if found out by the notorious Inquisition, she'll be inevitably burned at the stake, as a witch. A superior novel , for anyone who likes historical fiction, very well written, a gem. The sumptuous National Palace is still standing.
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Read information about the authorJosé de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.
His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with among others Freitas-Magalhaes. He lived on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain, where he died in June 2010.
A foundation with his name was established in 2007; its main aims are cultural promotion, particularly of Portuguese literature and authors. The A Viagem do Elefante.
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