Princes, Popes and Pirates
Sandra K. Toro
Princes, Popes and Pirates is an epic novel about the life of Joseph Nasi, the Duke of Naxos and an important leader in the world of Sephardic Jewry in the late sixteenth century. This is a sequel to Toro’s By Fire Possessed: Doña Gracia Nasi, about the life of the most important Jewish woman leader of that era.
Joseph Nasi is the historical figure on which "The Jew of Malta" by Christopher Marlowe was based, later re-interpreted by Shakespeare in "The Merchant of Venice." Joseph Nasi was the most powerful Jew of his day, and his opposition to Spain, the Inquisition, the Church and the Holy Roman Emperor made him a persona non grata in the power circles of Europe.
As heir to the commercial empire left by Doña Gracia, his aunt, he controlled one of the largest fortunes of his day. He was a close confidant to the Ottoman Sultan Selim, and he had a major role in the development of the Ottoman navy, which was so powerful that it controlled much of the Mediterranean. He was an important figure in the Battle of Lepanto.
Princes, Popes and Pirates, together with By Fire Possessed, tells the sweeping story of the most powerful Sephardic family of the sixteenth century. Then, in a third title in this series the author wore about a branch of the Mendez family that migrated to Mexico and later New Mexico, preserving their identity as crypto-Jews in Secrets Behind Adobe Walls.
Sandra K. Toro is an award-winning, best selling author who teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico. Toro is an officer of the Southwest Writers Association and is an active speaker on issues of writing and the representation of writers. In addition to being a writer, Toro has had a career on camera and as a producer of public affairs programs for ABC and PBS. She also served in high level government positions during the Carter and Clinton administrations.