Silvia Marina ArromOct 26, 2021
La Güera Rodrígue
The Life and Legends of a Mexican Independence Heroine
University of California Press 2021
In La Guera Rodriguez: The Life and Legends of a Mexican Independence Heroine (U California Press, 2021), Silvia Marina Arrom traces the legends of María Ignacia Rodríguez de Velasco y Osorio Barba (1778–1850), known by the nickname "La Güera Rodríguez." Seeking to disentangle the woman from the myth, Arrom uses a wide array of primary sources from the period to piece together an intimate portrait of this remarkable woman, followed by a review of her evolving representation in Mexican arts and letters that shows how the legends became ever more fanciful after her death. How much of the story is rooted in fact, and how much is fiction sculpted to fit the cultural sensibilities of a given moment in time? This is an indispensable resource for those searching to understand late-colonial Mexico, the role of women in the independence movement, and the use of historic figures in crafting national narratives.
Rachel Grace Newman is Lecturer in the History of the Global South at Smith College. She has a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, and she writes about elite migration, education, transnationalism, and youth in twentieth-century Mexico. She is on Twitter (@rachelgnew).