Notes from the Edge of My Mind

Margaret McManis' blog

El Doncel-the nobleman knight of Siguenza

Jun 192015


As I mentioned in my last post I was so intrigued by an image that I discovered in a cathedral in Siguenza, Spain that I proceeded to do extensive research on it. Sometime in the future I will be posting his picture here but in the meantime I would like to tell you a bit about how I was introduced to him. I was working with Joanne and Kevin Wood, some missionary friends living in Siguenza. They were hosting an English camp for Spanish speakers in the hill country around Siguenza and I had been volunteering as a conversation partner for that weekend. At the end of the weekend they told me they had something to show me. They knew I was a a librarian and an author and I had done an author visit to their daughter's school reading a story that I wrote about Ima Hogg of Texas.

I was very excited when Joanne took me to the local cathedral in the center of town and led me to a musty alcove. Pointing to a large crypt in the back of a private burial chamber she began her story of El Doncel, the nobleman knight of Siguenza. I was fascinated by his story but when I viewed the marble figure atop his crypt I was enchanted even more. He was elegantly dressed in his full chain mail and boots. No helmet covered his stony gray pageboy haircut. A red cross ending in a sword signifying the order of Santiago-the Order of Saint James of Compostela was emblazoned on his mail covered chest. He was Martin Vasquez de Arce of the noble house of de Arce. His countenance was dreamy as he lay on his side, his elbow propped on a large pillow, gazing down at an object in his hands.


Of course, I was curious to know about that book he seemed so intent on reading. After all what book could have been so important that his likeness would be carved atop his crypt with it in his hands?

As a librarian I have always been intrigued by novels with lost manuscripts and mysterious books as their themes and Joanne knew I would be curious about this nobleman knight and his codex.

Now my question is.

What do you think he might have been reading?

Stay tuned next week for a possible answer.

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