By Richard Boyer
This interesting exam of bigamy in colonial Mexico unearths for the 1st time the lives, workouts, and networks of usual humans. the writer, drawing from his shut interpreting of Inquisition records, situates those humans within the internet of way of life: in households as they develop up and in groups as they research the methods of society. With brilliant glimpses of courtship, lack of virginity, marriage, adultery, abusive therapy, and failed marriage, he additionally follows them of their deepest lives. within the crusade to root out bigamy, the Inquisition depended on humans to denounce each other. How they went approximately this finds that gossip and interest sustained a surer and speedier process of communications than we'd have imagined. the various items of reports mentioned the following express feelings and reactions hardly ever preserved from earlier centuries. From a tender baby enduring abuse and rape by way of relations to the wily suitor who tips his destiny better half's father with a story of misplaced loot saved in a robber's cave, all through this quantity we pay attention the voices of hitherto invisible humans.
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Extra resources for Lives of the Bigamists: Marriage, Family, and Community in Colonial Mexico
9 And such a range of people: women as well as men, mulattoes and mestizos as well as Spaniards, idlers as well as workers, newcomers as well as old hands. Nearly all of them managed in a plebeian world, nearly all stand out as individuals. As they speak of their comings and goings, we hear about the places they lived in, the events they saw and heard about, the people they knew, and the conversations they engaged in. This, if not the full picture, was the stuff of their lives. Bigamy files, of course, center on the marriages of people because this is what the Inquisition wanted to know about.
10 We have no way of knowing, but the answer, I think, lies in the conventions of patronage. Andrés would have been expected to pick a partner from 'family,' and this overrode whatever unease he may have had that Ignacio, more than someone outside the family, might note and denounce his marital irregularity. 11 On November 10, 1762, don Jacinto wrote out the denunciation (no notary was available), arrested Andrés, and ordered his sergeant to take him (together with Ignacio, "in case he is needed") to doctor don Juan Falla, commissioner of the Holy Office in Guatemala City.
Thus, to cite the example of the occupations of bigamists and witnesses, in case after case a broad range is mentioned, and a listing of them, running into the hundreds, could serve as a credible sample of the working population of New Spain. I am, of course, speaking mainly but not exclusively of the Hispanic rather than the Indian world, for the latter, the majority of the population, did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Holy Office. Indians therefore appear in Inquisition records in supporting rolesas wives or husbands, fellow workers, compadres, or informantsrather than as the main actors in the story lines of the cases.
Lives of the Bigamists: Marriage, Family, and Community in Colonial Mexico by Richard Boyer