Photo from wikipedia
The museum: Perched on top of a hill, with sweeping views over Mexico City’s western sprawl, the fortress-style castle was home to the ill-fated Emperor Maxmillian I and his empress, Carlota, during the Second Mexican Empire from 1864 to 1867. You can walk through the rooms, which are arranged shotgun fashion–each leading into the other–insuring that no one at the court had much privacy. The gilded, delicate French-style furniture is an indication just how out of touch the royal court was from real life in Mexico. Take the trolley from street level up the hill, otherwise you’ll be too exhausted from the climb to appreciate the museum.
The book: The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire is a fictionalized account of the Second Mexican Empire seen mostly through the eyes of the American woman whose son was adopted (or seized depending on your point of view) by the childless Maxmillian and Carlota in the vain attempt to establish an heir to the Mexican throne. The book is a real gem and shows off both amazingly detailed research into the life and times of the Second Mexican Empire and the author’s ability to create wholly believable historical characters. Get it here.
CONTINUE READING CARMEN AMATO on "Matching Museums with Books in Mexico City"
And I have been looking at that very novel this very morning because it is so elegantly designed. And I do say myself-- I mean, I am not, as they say, "putting cream on my tacos," because it was designed by the publisher, Unbridled Books.
Right now, with the help of a designer, I am figuring out how to format a CreateSpace print-on-demand paperback edition of my latest book, which is a most unusual one about a very strange book-- Metaphysical Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero's Spiritist Manual Introduced and Translated. Understandably, Metaphysical Odyssey was not of interest to Unbridled Books, which specializes in literary fiction. It might seem a good fit for any one of a number of university presses, but having published with university presses in the past, I am feeling rather blasé about jumping through all their hoops for such a paltry deal as they offer these days. Hence, self-publishing, this Wild West adventure of increasing popularity. Most self-published books look like crap, alas, with unreadable fonts and skimpy margins... here's hoping I learn something from my little tour of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire's lovely design... and I hope to be able to announce the paperback of Metaphysical Odyssey shortly. In the meantime, it is available in Kindle.