Notes: Thirty-four short episodes of Mexican legends in Spanish, with a vocabulary at the end. The first page of each episode is illustrated with an engraving-like illustration.
In her brief preface, Borquez explains that she has collected these legends from various books on the subject published in Mexico and that she is publishing them to meet the demands of language teachers for an introductory Spanish reader. She goes on to write that she has a second motive:
A "desire to help interpret my native land to the one of my adoption. Only the history of the cruel past can explain the conditions of its unhappy present; and in these myths and traditions, which lie back in history, the thoughtful reader may find the clue to the habits of thought, the childlike credulity, and many of those old customs in the daily life of the common people which both entertain and mystify the ordinary traveler."
It is curious that Borquez claims to be a native of Mexico in her preface. Census documents have her birthplace consistently as Arizona.
Maria Aurelia Borquez (Tucson, AZ, 1872 – Houston, 1965) grew up in the Mexican American community in Tucson, the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She married William F. Whenthoff in 1896; by 1910 they were living in Los Angeles. The couple divorced in 1917. For at least a decade, starting no later than 1914, Borquez taught Spanish, operated a Spanish language school, and published five textbooks for her students.
An uncommon book by an early Latina writer and entrepreneur.
Edition + Condition: Covers slightly grubby, else very good in bright yellow cloth stamped in black. Cloth peeling at one edge.
Publication: Los Angeles: (the author), 1915.
Item No: #306851