A Century in Portugal

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel Text, 2016, 352 pages, $29.99 _______________________ “You won’t tell me to shush!” The words rang out around the Misericordiae church, in Olivença, Spain, on the Portuguese border. Everybody stilled. The group had been hacking up steep cobblestone streets in a thirty-eight-degree scorcher. A few days earlier, eucalyptus fires had burnt acres of forest inland from Lisbon. The leader was ahead—keen to describe the blue-and-white eighteenth-century tiles and a Manueline side door. The scholarly purpose of the tour was to examine a particular Portuguese decorative form that fits between the Gothic and Renaissance…

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