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The historical biography of a true Jewish heroine in her day, Gracia Mendes. Born in 1510 in Portugal, the book details this woman's extraordinary personality until her death in 1569 in Constantinople. As a young girl, Gracia secretly married successful Jewish spice trader, Francisco Mendes. At age of 27 she became a widow, yet she went on to raise her children and run the family business all on her own. Her travels led her through Antwerp, Venice, Ferrara, Ragusa, and finally to Constantinople, from where the Ottoman Empire dominated former Byzantium territories and offered shelter for the battered Conversos (converted Jews). This is one of the first books to pay equal attention to the lives of the Conversos in Christian Western Europe and in the Muslim East.