Woman on Horseback : The story of Francisco Lopez and Elisa Lynch by William E. Barrett
New York : Doubleday, 1952. Hardcover. 362 pages ; 21 cm. $3.50 dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
Woman On Horseback By William E. Barrett
Elisa Lynch, "a beautiful sinner vitally linked with disastrous events," was the high-spirited Irish girl who became the mistress of South America's most powerful dictator. She first met the flamboyant Paraguayan, Francisco Lopez, at the court of Napoleon the Third in Paris. Their alliance changed the current of South American history at a time when Portuguese Brazil was ruled by an emperor and the Spanish-American republics were new and unsteady.
Lopez believed in a Spanish America united under one flag. He was Resident of Paraguay and chose to accept virtual annihilation for his country rather than to surrender its independence to Brazil and the Portuguese. Lopez didn't give up without a fight. And riding at his side into battle was the indomitable Elisa. Theirs was a unique valor; its reward was a dark niche in oblivion.
This important double biography is being reissued because its timeliness is even more urgent today than when it was first published. The rise of another man-and-wife team of South American dictators makes comparison between these two sets of careers in widely separated periods of history particularly fascinating.
WOMAN ON HORSEBACK has been fully documented from official records of the United States Government, translations from South American state papers, correspondence of the period, and contemporary accounts. There are an appendix, a bibliography, and a chronological history of Paraguay included to give added usefulness to the book.
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