The Black Legend of Carlos II, an “Eminent” But Extremely Ugly King


Juan Pedro Cosano publishes a historical novel that justifies the figure of a misbehaving king above all because of his ugliness

Charles II
Portrait of Charles II by Anton Raphael Mengs.EM

Charles II “fascinated”The most infamous king in the history of SpainSays the author of the historical novel, who passed on as a “disastrous” emperor, despite the fact that some like him displayed his “firmness and dignity”. John Peter CosanoThose who attribute this “black legend” above all to its extreme ugliness.

Cosano assured Efe, “that black legend was condemned for the injustice of his appearance and inability to produce.” Charles II (Madrid, 1661–1700), last of the dynasty of Austria Spaniards gave way to them bourbons,

To this unjustly despised king and the strange circumstances of the death of his first wife, Mara Luisa d’Orléansniece of Louis XIVThis author dedicates his last novel, no one can love her like me (Espasa), in which he reveals his suspicions about his poison.

18 to . Feather Charles II In his first marriage he married with Mara Luisa d’Orléanswho died ten years later. It was a marriage ordered by the bride’s uncle, sun kingSomething that terrified the young woman at first because she was probably destined to marry “the ugliest, most monstrous and perverted man in Europe”, the author says.

but after marriage Mara Luisa d’Orléans She loved her husband, a “fair and just” man, though they have no children, says the author, who titles her book with the phrase that the queen addresses her husband upon his death.

The strange death of Queen Maria Luisa

The Queen’s presumed infertility was a matter of court (“If you go, go to Spain, if you don’t go, go to Paris”, he said of her at the time) and they put her in the crosshairs of different factions. They do not stop plotting until she becomes ill, which leads her to suspect that she has been poisoned.

on his death, Charles II Order for investigation of playwright and henchman Francisco Antonio de Bains and CandamoWhich is the general thread of the novel, a political “thriller” that portrays the political interests, national and international, behind the possible poisoning of Queen Maria Luisa.

More than 300 years later, the death of María Luisa d’Orléans is still shrouded in mystery and there is no conclusive evidence that it was poisoned, although the author states that as he is investigating, he may be more likely to die. More doubt that it was so.

In his book he has drawn a picture of Charles II away from the subjects of that time and persisted throughout history about this emperor, who was also called “Bewitched”, “pervert”, “Disappointed” or directly “idiot”,

John Peter Cosano This king is criticized for his “serious” notion because of his physical appearance and health, which reflects the consequences of centuries of inbreeding. He inherited a ruined and falling country and had to deal with it. sun kingBut in his way of ruling, he did not give reasons for such blasphemy and blasphemy, something that was due to “the injustice of his physical appearance.”

a mishandled inheritance

Other kings did worse and were not treated as badly, as the author says, who explains how Charles II Implemented the fiscal and administrative measures that Spain required, even though they were unpopular, and maintained the empire.

And, above all, points out to Kosano, knowing his weakness, he knew how to surround himself with the best and “truly capable” government, something that displayed his dignity and humility. Yes, he maintains.

Regarding the death of the queen, the novelist believed that everyone was interested: the Spanish nobles, who watched with concern that Charles II had no children; A Louis XIVwho held dynastic rights to the Spanish crown, and the German Emperor Leopold, who was concerned about having the niece of his great French enemy on the Spanish throne.

Charles II He also had no children in his second marriage with German. Neoberg MarianaGiving rise to the problem of succession which resulted in the end of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty.

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