Who knew that Mexico once had a half-American prince? Or that this little boy's future was hotly debated not just in Mexico but in Washington D.C. and in every court in Europe?
On May 5th, Unbridled Books released a novel that illuminates this little known history, THE LAST PRINCE OF THE MEXICAN EMPIRE by C.M. Mayo, a Flannery O'Connor Fiction Award winner and well-known translator of contemporary Mexican literature who has lived in Mexico for more than twenty years.
THE LAST PRINCE OF THE MEXICAN EMPIRE is the never before completely told story about a little half-American, half-Mexican boy who, as in a fairytale, became a prince and then a pawn in the struggle-to-the-death over Mexico's destiny. Set during the mid-19th century, when Maximilian became Emperor of Mexico, Mayo's novel becomes a story of Mexico itself, its struggle for national identity amidst the wrangling for control of the Americas, its complexity, its rich history, its beauty, its culture. The book was released on the anniversary of the Mexican victory over the French troops at the City of Puebla.
In 1864, Maximilian and his consort, Carlota, arrived in Mexico City supported by the Hapsburgs and propped up by the influx of French troops. Childless, in 1865, Maximilian took custody of--with all appearances that this would be his Heir Presumptive--the two-year old Prince Agust?¡n de Iturbide, grandson of Mexico's first emperor, a leader of Mexico's Independence from Spain, who had been executed before a firing squad. The boy's father, a Mexican diplomat, and mother, a Washington D.C. belle, immediately regretted their complicity. But Maximilian refused to relinquish the child, sparking an international scandal.
Booklist said, "Mayo resurrects a sad story from the footnotes of history and embroiders the few details known about it into a rich historical novel." Publishers Weekly said, "Mayo's reanimation of a crucial period in Mexican history should satisfy history buffs and those in the mood for an engaging story brimming with majestic ambition."
C.M. Mayo will have her event on:
The Mexican Consulate
2401 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90057
C.M. Mayo's books include the widely-lauded travel memoir, Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico, and Sky Over El Nido. Mayo is founding editor of Tameme Chapbooks ~ Cuadernos. Author's website