Una Mora

Manuel García Hispaleto – Una Mora

Speaking Arabic, and having been brought up largely by her Moorish grandmother Sebah, Mariana can and frequently does pass as a Moor (una Mora) herself. See especially in the prequel, The Rose of Sharon, where she is sold as a slave in Granada and lives in two very different harems.

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My Alternative World

“There are many reasons why novelists write, but they all have one thing in common – a need to create an alternative world,” wrote JOHN FOWLES.

I was asked the other day if that was true of me.

I suppose every novelist has created a story, a world, of his own that he already lives in in a very real sense and would give his left arm to visit in reality. That certainly applies to me and the the Mariana de la Mar universe.

The Mar Menor in Spain where Mariana lived as a child in the 1360s (in “The Rose of Sharon”)

You know what they say: If you can’t find the book you want to read, write it yourself. There’s more to it than that. It’s really: Create that world, your world, yourself.

But of course there are other books, other alternative universes, I would love to visit …