A few years ago, during a visit to the Historical Archive of Bizkaia, the writer Mila Saterain from Durango found a wealth of documentation on a striking event. These documents date back to the 17th century. century, in Duranguesado itself, he had been active for twelve years in a group of counterfeiters they gave. It was not a small group, but almost 50 people, and they were not left unpunished. On the contrary, when they were captured and tried, they were severely punished, comparable to those imposed by the Inquisition.
Salterain, his third, has written a prolific novel about this event. “Undoubtedly a historical novel” In the words of Jorge Giménez Bech, editor of Alberdania, he praised the writer during a presentation in San Sebastián. As Giménez points out, “we could be close to a large number of watchtowers in the historical novel. We could use historical events as a setting, almost as a prop, to locate and color the non-historical vicissitudes we want to tell. Otherwise, we could use a specific historical event, perhaps with its characters, to present what did not happen as if it had happened… What Mila Salterain has chosen is different, and not at all common: there is not the basis of this novel or a key event that does not have verified documentary support».
On the cover, the work of the Flemish painter Adriaen van Stalbemt, reads: «Fake money XVII. In Duranguesado: fraud or rebellion against the crown? ‘. That’s one of the keys, because Salterain has done a great job of documentation – proof of this in the special part of the book – but he has tried to build on this strong documentary support. “Explaining why things were happening” and “Novelizing the Reasons and Intentions of Historical Characters”, as long as priority is given to humble people.
Historical and fictional characters
“For centuries humanity history we humble citizens have done and will do, The history of the world is made up of unnamed protagonists: soldiers who were not forced to go to war, forced to pay taxes to keep the great, men and women who were forced to obey the laws of strangers, who did not enjoy the wealth of prosperous times. So this novel is a playground for humble people, because we owe it to ourselves, ”the writer said.
Salterain looks at the complex historical period. As explained in the presentation, «XVII. century The crown of Castile was in constant war with various kingdoms and countries. On the one hand, the maintenance of the conquered territory led to high costs. On the other hand, they took advantage of the lands and lands they had acquired in the Americas to take advantage of the wealth the Castilians were heavily indebted“At the age of one hundred and fifty, the Royal Treasury of Castile failed four times.”
Alongside the historical characters, the writer has placed fictional characters, of which he is the main protagonist Manuela Mena, a 19-year-old girl, exiled for being a member of a forgery network, even several years later What happens when he returns to the Basque Country which has extra weight in the novel.
It can be said about the novel a giant fresco from a time of conflict, where they move from one place to another -literally-, and speak -in a very personal voice, even in terms of the Basque language-, many interesting characters who have a lot to tell.