Today is the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in which 4,000 Mexican soldiers scored a major victory over the 8,000-strong occupying French army. Cinco de Mayo is an annual regional celebration in the state of Puebla and has become widely celebrated in the United States, even though it is not really Mexico’s independence day. That date would be September 16, which is the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) in 1810, which kicked off the war of independence against Spain. Dolores (full name: Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia Nacional, or Dolores Hidalgo Cradle of National Independence) is a small town in the state of Guanajuato. September 16 is the major annual celebration within Mexico.
The original Cinco de Mayo, i.e. May 5, 1862, was followed by more battles and eventual French victory. A little over a year later there was a Second Battle of Puebla, which the invaders won and which was quickly followed by the fall of Mexico City. France then installed the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph as emperor of Mexico. His wife was Charlotte of Belgium, whose name in Spanish would be Carlota, or Carlotta as I learned it in high school. Hmmm. Maximilian and Carlotta. Wouldn’t those names fit nicely in the title of a novel…
Yes, I’m exploiting another country’s holiday to make yet one more pitch for my book.
If you don’t think you have enough—or, for that matter, any—copies yet, time is running out for buying them while Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead is still my most recent novel. With any luck, before long, it will merely be my second most recent novel. So hurry and act before that psychologically significant deadline gets any nearer.
In case you are a Scott Adams fan and are wondering, yes, I am trying out the persuasion techniques that the brilliant Dilbert cartoonist keeps using on his blog to motivate people to buy his book but, unfortunately, I think I am doing it wrong.
Have a happy Cinco de Mayo anyway.