Guest Post with Giveaway ~ 1492 : A Novel of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish Inquisition, and a World at the Turning Point by Newton Frohlich


1492 is the story behind the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.  It weaves the Jewish, Christian, Arab influences on the discovery and also describes the life and times that, in many respects, were not so different from today.  When I started my work, the Arab oil embargo threatened the prosperity of the West just as Arab control of the trade routes to the East threatened the prosperity of the West in Columbus' time.  The challenge then and now:  how can the West reach the East and not be thwarted by Arab control of the oil and trade routes.  Columbus' answer was to sail to the West by first sailing South, and when he reached Africa, then sailing West.  To return he would first sail North, and then, catching the winds that blow due East there, sail back to Europe.

Getting around the Arab blockade, as it were, was the initial challenge then and now.  And then came the Inquisition by the Church into the bona fides of Jews who converted to Christianity to save themselves and their families from being tortured and burned at the stake.  But it quickly became clear that religious purity was not on the Inquisitors' minds.  Rather it was convicting Jews, confiscating their property and financing the Christians' war against the Arabs.  As with today, the East was on one side, the West was on the other side, and Jews were in the middle.

So, no, Queen Isabella did not pawn her jewels to pay for Columbus' voyage.  But yes, Columbus did discover America though as a result of a far different process than the fairy tale you heard as a child.  We seem to need myths to get through life, but I hope you will agree that truth is better.  Besides, as a priest told me when I went to Columbus' library in the Cathedral of Seville when he brought me the workbooks Columbus studied to prepare for his voyage, " Young man, I'm so glad you know who Columbus was.  As the great philosopher Santayana once wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

I hope you enjoy 1492 as much as I enjoyed writing it.  

post-divider right1492Publisher: Blue Bird Press
Genre: Historical Novel
ISBN-10: 0996048456
ISBN-13: 978-0996048453
Buy: Amazon, IndieBound, The Book Depository


Fifteenth-century Spain was a terrifying place. It was the time of the Inquisition a time of torture, betrayal, and unexpected courage. The Muslim world was struggling to keep the West in an economic vise, the Christian world was fighting back against their control of its trade routes, and the Jews were caught in the middle tortured if they assimilated, expelled or killed if they clung to their heritage. Into this turbulent scene step a unique combination of strong-willed characters, brought to life with stunning realism by award-winning novelist Newton Frohlich.

Cristoforo Colombo, ingenious sailor and explorer with one foot in the Jewish world and one in the Christian, is determined to reach the East via the West—if only he can find a way to finance his voyage. His Christian wife, Filipa, offers him social acceptance and valuable contacts while the beautiful and talented Beatriz rekindles in him the spark of his true identity—one he's been forced to hide. The influential Santangel family, converted Christians, risk their fortunes to finance the voyage of discovery—and risk their lives when they resist the Inquisition. And the imperious Queen lsabel, who holds the power to change all of their lives, must choose at last whether to sponsor the grand scheme set before her.

A vivid tapestry of passion and political intrigue, fanaticism and economic ambition, 1492 depicts a crucial moment in world history with sobering parallels to today when human tragedy and human triumph were inextricably intertwined.

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of 1492: A Novel of Christopher Columbus and His World to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on October 21st



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Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

post-divider rightnewtonNewton Frohlich is the author of the award-winning historical novel The Shakespeare Mask as well as 1492: A Novel of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish Inquisition, and a World at the Turning Point (originally published by St. Martin’s Press) and the nonfiction work Making the Best of It: A Common-Sense Guide to Negotiating a Divorce (Harper & Row).

He spent fifteen years researching and traveling for The Shakespeare Mask and is a member of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the De Vere Society. He has lived in Washington, DC, the south of France, and Israel. He now makes his home on Cape Cod with his wife, Martha, a musicologist.

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  1. Della Williamson says:

    Would very much like to read this. Looks most intriguing. When in high school and I would say "But that's not the way it really was" about something teachers would have a fit. Learned at a very early age, not everyone really wants the truth. Or reality. Told my Dad then that such was the cowards way. That there was no bigger fool than the one who lied to themselves and believe their own lies. My Dad said that's right. Because sooner or later reality will come a-knockin and the longer you put off facing the facts. The harder that reality is going to bite. And in the 60 years since then. Have seen it often. And hiding from reality is a stronger force today than it was then. Sadly. Yes. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how this one plays out 

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