The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve

By José Tomás de Cuéllar; Margo Glantz et al. | Go to book overview

Introduction

José Tomás de Cuéllar was born in Mexico City in 1830, a few years after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. His life spanned an era of intense changes, economic and military setbacks, and diverse and short-lived forms of government: the brief episode of Empire headed by Agustin de Iturbide, followed by the Republic, whose first president was José Guadalupe Victoria. During this time the debates about centralism versus federalism began, resulting in clashes between Conservatives and Liberals, and battles between rival Masonic lodges (Scottish and York). The outcome was anarchy, which prepared the way for the numerous and catastrophic appearances of Antonio López de Santa Anna on the Mexican political scene, and the loss of an important part of the national territory in the aftermath of the War of Texas and the American invasion. Cuéllar, as a cadet in the Colegio Militar, took part in the defense of Mexico City against the invading army in 1847; after this defeat, disillusioned, he abandoned his military career and entered the Academia de San Carlos. He studied painting without much success, then took up photography, a pursuit that would later be useful to him

-xi-

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The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editors'' General Introduction vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xxxiii
  • Prologue 3
  • Having a Ball 5
  • I- Preparations for the Ball 7
  • II- How Couples Were Recruited and Guests Invited 15
  • III- About the Machuca Sisters and Others like Them 25
  • IV- In Which, among Other Things, the Girls Who Frequent the Pane Baths Prepare Themselves for the Colonel''s Ball 34
  • V- Concerning What Happened to the Virtue of a Lady Invited to Saldaña''s Ball 45
  • VI- How the Appearances Maintained by These Upstarts Tend to Compromise Any Serious Result 69
  • VII- The Ball Begins 79
  • VII- How the Heat from Candles, Combined with a Santa Barbara Cognac and Other Evils, Can Create Pandemonium at a Ball 100
  • IX- Conclusion 115
  • Christmas Eve - Negatives Exposed from December 24 To December 25, 1882 119
  • I 121
  • II 123
  • III 126
  • IV 129
  • V 133
  • VI 136
  • VII 140
  • VIII 142
  • IX 146
  • XI 156
  • XII 162
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