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CriticasRenowned Mexican novelist, translator, and essayist Sefchovich (Vivir la vida [Living Life], Alfaguara, 2002, and Demasiado amor [Too Much Love], Alfaguara, 2001) here offers a historical account of the lives and duties of Mexico's princesses, first ladies, and wives of the vice-royalty, from pre-Hispanic times to the present. To research this project, Sefchovich spent two years visiting libraries and delving into archives, interviewing relatives and historians, and immersing herself in books, newspapers, correspondence, and private papers. The result is a brave, well-documented account of unrecognized accomplishments and endured misfortunes. To demonstrate the contributions made by women throughout the country's history, Sefchovich interweaves her account of their lives with aspects of Mexican history, revealing who they were and the specific roles their husbands and society wanted them to play. The book's illustrations, chronology, and index of names make the text accessible. The book also features a CD ROM with more than 500 entries, including photos, biographies, and music. This unusual, well-written account is highly recommended for academic and public libraries interested in women's studies and Mexican history.
—Lourdes Vazquez, Rutgers Univ., NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.