This article accompanies the fable
A Tale of Two Women
Cervantes and Pedro de Urdemales
We don’t know where Pedro came from – perhaps southern Castile (La Mancha, Extremadura), as Cortés and Don Quixote did, or even Andalucia? Certainly many of the conquistadors in the New World were from the South and very few of them were from the upper nobility. Never one to miss out on the action, Pedro had gone to the Americas in the company of Cortés and the conquistadors. He wrote about his experiences as a conquistador in the “Narrative of Some Things of New Spain and of the Great City of Temestitan, México” (mis-spelling the Aztec capital), which he published anonymously. He returned later to Mother Spain to fight the Muslims and it was only toward the end of his life that he put in an appearance in Don Quixote as Master Pedro of the puppet theater, where he stands accused of “Moorish puppetry.” Before he died this late Renaissance man completed a humorous memoir of his exploits but the manuscript is believed to have been lost.