While searching for information on a forgotten great-grandchild of Bernal Díaz del Castillo (the famous chronicler of the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica, whose work is one of the most valuable sources of information on the era), Dr. Webre discovered in some historic archives a document rich in previously-unknown information on Díaz del Castillo and his family.
Among the documentation found was a summary of his last will, dated 1575, a finding of great importance since no other similar document had ever been found before. However, after his initial euphoria subsided, Dr. Webre's suspicious were raised as upon closer examination, he found many instances of false information and spurious testimony. Not a very reliable document, then. But the story doesn't end there.
Scholar-turned-detective, Dr. Webre determined to continue investigating and his research uncovered an amazing story of illicit love, betrayal and abandonment in the highest spheres of society in XVII century Guatemala.
It can be surmised, of course, that the numerous instances of false testimony and fake evidence endeavoured to cover up a shaming scandal from public exposure. Nevertheless, on a deeper level, it raises fundamental questions about one of the most reliable resources for historical research: Original documents and the archives that hold them. Webre's research findings provide fascinating information yet offer, as well, a warning to historical researchers everywhere.
Anyhow, the life of Bernal Díaz del Castillo is not only fodder for sober historical research but also, as you can see below, a comic strip in German based on his adventures! Go figure. Wish they had taught history like this when I was in high school, instead of having us memorize those endless lists of dates and dry "glorious" epic wars. Be it as it may, Webre's presentation sounds truly interesting so I won't miss it and if you want to go, I'll surely see you there.
Bed & Breakfast - Lofts - Parking
In the Historic Center of Guatemala