Author(s): Elizabeth Drayson
Boabil handed the keys of his city to Ferdinand saying in Arabic: "God loves you greatly. Sir, these are the keys of this paradise. I and those inside it are yours." The king then handed the keys to Isabella, and she handed them to her son the prince Juan, who gave them to the Count of Tendilla. The seventeenth-century writer and poet Rodríguez de Ardila writes that when Boabdil was told that the Count of Tehndilla had been named governor of the Alhambra, he asked him to be summoned, and taking a gold ring set with a turquoise from his finger he handed it to the Count, saying that Granada had been governed with this ring since the time that the Moors first won it, and he wished that he should wear it to govern as well. Boabdil wished him better luck than he had encountered in doing so.
A thrilling account of the life of Spain's last Moorish king and the ending of seven centuries of Spanish Islam
A lively biography ... [Drayson's] account revels in the high drama and spectacular gore of Boabdil's story, which are in plentiful supply. -- Dan Jones * Sunday Times * Charming and eye-opening ... Drayson does a splendid job of putting flesh on Boabdil's story -- Giles Tremlett * Guardian * Does justice to Boabdil's life and illuminates the lessons he offers. It is rare today to find a historian with a talent for brevity. In just 180 pages Drayson tells an enthralling and terribly sad story, while forcing the reader to reflect on the nature of heroism. -- Gerard DeGroot * Times * With elegant prose, her book clearly reconstructs the complicated politics of Granada and brings back to life a historical figure shrouded in mystery and legend. Her book is a pleasure to read and an excellent introduction to anyone wishing to delve into the twilight of Muslim Spain. -- Francis Soyer * BBC History Magazine * From her Cambridge vantage point, Dr Drayson retells this familiar but dramatic story. Her book is part history, part biography, and wholly readable...It would be a good book to read on a tren de alta velocidad speeding from Madrid to the south. -- Andrew Breeze * The Tablet *
Elizabeth Drayson teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Cambridge. She is Lorna Close Fellow in Spanish at Murray Edwards College and lecturer in Spanish at Peterhouse. Her books include The King and the Whore: King Roderick and La Cava (2007) and The Lead Books of Granada (2013).