THE DEATH OF MANOLETEby Barnaby Conrad
On Thursday, August 28, 1947, in the bull ring at the Spanish town of Linares, a thiry-year-old millionaire called Manolete (Manuel Laureano Rodriguez) and a Miura bull named Islero killed each other. Conrad recounts Manolete's extraoridinary life here for the first time in English. In combining pictures and text, the reader sees the breeding that made the Spanish boy… See more details below
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On Thursday, August 28, 1947, in the bull ring at the Spanish town of Linares, a thiry-year-old millionaire called Manolete (Manuel Laureano Rodriguez) and a Miura bull named Islero killed each other. Conrad recounts Manolete's extraoridinary life here for the first time in English. In combining pictures and text, the reader sees the breeding that made the Spanish boy, the tempering that made the young torero, the sacrifice that made the man, the girl who brought him love, the acclaim that brought him incredible success and finally its price...the undoing that began slowly and ended in one last great afternoon and in a death that if not untimely put out the brightest flame in Spain. Manolete had fired the Latin imagination as no one had done since the Cid. He had become a symbol of Latin pride, valor, and chivalry. But the crowds owned him and he did their bidding...and they had bid him to die.
The book gives us a thumbnail biographical sketch of the matador while punching it up with some fascinating personal accounts from some significant people in Manolete’s life. The emotion that comes through some of these reminiscences is palpable and provides a glimpse into the world of the cuadrilla, the close knit team of banderilleros, sword handlers and managers that support every matador de toros. They become especially poignant given the intensity of their experience and its tragic conclusion.
The book also touches on the doomed love affair between Manolete and Lupe Sino, the Spanish actress who became his mistress and the love of his life. Conrad avoids the temptation to editorialize on the nature of their relationship, neither putting it on a pedestal nor blaming the actress for bewitching the matador.
Along with the lush and varied collection of photographs included in the book, this straightforward treatment of the life of possibly the most charismatic bullfighter ever makes “The Death of Manolete” a valuable addition to any aficionado’s taurine library.
- PHOENIX BOOKS INC
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