New Biography Recounts Life of ‘Frances Calderón de la Barca’

Share Article

Marion Hall Fisher; Howard T. Fisher’s chronicle, now published posthumously, is the result of 40 years of research.

News Image

Frances Calderón de la Barca” (published by Xlibris) is the first full-length biography of a notable Scotswoman whose far-ranging career led through a half-dozen countries in response to bankruptcy, extortion, marriage to a Spanish diplomat, three revolutions, and royal suicide.

Frances Erskine Inglis, daughter of a prominent lawyer and Freemason, was born in Edinburgh in 1804. As the Marquesa de Calderón de la Barca, she died in Madrid’s Royal Palace in 1882. During her life she was a teacher, legation hostess, and successful author, remembered now for her travel classic “Life in Mexico” and semi-fictional “The Attaché in Madrid.” But her books tell nothing about the greater part of her colorful life, which alternated between privilege and poverty, security and turmoil. “It is one thing to see a revolution,” she said after helping her husband to escape in disguise from Spain in 1854, “and another to be in a great measure the object of it.”

Madame Calderón projected a palpable verve, both in person and through her books and correspondence. “Indeed it must be a sore trial that would sink her mercury,” wrote her good friend, William H. Prescott, author of “The Conquest of Mexico.” Sometimes her trenchant commentary on people and places flared into newspaper controversy. From all that can be discovered about her, she emerges as a person of high abilities, wit, and nerve. In addition to the spirited woman at the center of the story, there are also her extraordinary family and a cast of memorable minor characters.

“Frances Calderón de la Barca”
By Marion Hall Fisher; Howard T. Fisher
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 402 pages | ISBN 9781514421376
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 402 pages | ISBN 9781514421383
E-Book | 402 pages | ISBN 9781514421369
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Authors
Before her marriage, Marion Hall worked for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Her future husband, Howard T. Fisher, was an architect and later the founder of the Laboratory for Computer Graphics at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. When Marion and Howard married in 1939, they each had previously read and relished Frances Calderón de la Barca’s “Life in Mexico,” published in 1843. As a hobby the Fishers researched Madame Calderón’s life and retraced her travels. In 1966 they produced a highly praised annotated edition of her Mexican classic. Although the Fishers died before shaping her biography into final form, it has been completed by their son Alan H. Fisher, a lawyer and guidebook writer. For him Madame Calderón has been like a close relative since the time of his earliest memories.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
+1 888-795-4274 Ext: 7879
Email >
Visit website