Olds Publishes Book On Spanish Jesuit Who Forged Histories
Katrina B. Olds has published a book about Spain’s infamous “false chronicles”, Forging the Past: Invented Histories in Counter-Reformation Spain, with Yale University Press, in which she explores the history, author, and legacy of one of the world’s most compelling and consequential frauds.
The “false chronicles” refer to a set of forged historical texts that a Spanish Jesuit named Jerónimo Román de la Higuera claimed to have discovered at the end of the sixteenth century.
Transforming the religious landscape in Counter-Reformation Spain, these documents were not definitively exposed as forgeries until centuries later.
"The forgeries were books that Higuera — a teacher of Latin and humanities at Jesuit schools in Spain — worked on in his spare time,” Olds said. "This was during the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and Higuera hoped his texts would encourage people to venerate the saints more actively, and thereby prove Protestant critics of Catholicism wrong."