In 1956, Robert Graves published a compelling translation of George Sand’s Winter in Majorca (Valldemosa Edition, Mallorca, 1956). In a footnote to the book, he claimed that Christopher Columbus, the man who discovered America, hailed from Mallorca, in fact from Felanitx, and had Jewish origins.
Robert Graves stated his opinion without even knowing Gabriel Verd Martorell. This Mallorcan author (born 1955) published a book with the title Cristóbal Colón era noble y de sangre real: una realidad, nació en Mallorca (Imprenta Politecnica, Palma de Mallorca, 1989). There, Señor Verd Martorell convincingly argues that Cristobál Colón, or Cristobál Colom in Catalan (Christopher Columbus to most of us) is neither of Portuguese nor Italian origins, and not from Barcelona either, but rather was born in Felanitx to a Mallorcan mother, Margalida Colom, and fathered by the brother of King Fernando de Aragón, Príncipe Carlos de Viana.
Gabriel Verd Martorell worked for over ten years to prepare his argument. In 1984, he had already published a first book on the subject with the title Cristóbal Colón y La revelación del enigma, now in its fourth edition.
The author delivers substantial proof to his claim and in great detail, refering to an endless array of historic documents, maps, letters and diary entries. The most obvious arguments are that Colom named the first island he encountered in the New World as San Salvador, and the sea surrounding that island Mar de Nuestra Señora, both after the monastery near Felanitx (Nuestra Señora de San Salvador). Another island he named Isla Margalida, after the name of his mother. Had he been Italian, it should have been Margherita, or had he been Spanish, it should have been Margarita, and had he been Catalan, it should have been Margarida.
Apparently, Columbus also wrote all of his letters as well as his dairy entries in Mallorquín, never in Castellano, and only very occasionally in Italian. And there are many other convincing arguments.
The book makes for a captivating and also persuasive read. I recommend it to anybody literate enough to master the lingua Castellana.
The photo (top) was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 2nd, 2009. The time was 21:14:36. The photo (bottom) was taken from the Internet and the website of the Ajuntament de Felanitx.