Francisco y Cayetano Rivera Ordonez

I read and enjoyed for a second time, Death and the Sun, A Matador’s Season in the Heart of Spain.

As the book’s description says:-
“Is it an immoral spectacle or a metaphor of life? Bullfighting never fails to provoke a reaction. In this unusual travel memoir, Edward Lewine embarks on an eye-opening journey around Spain, to track a typical season for the country’s biggest bullfighter, Francisco Rivera Ordonez.

Fighting bulls while fleeing celebrity, Spain’s most infamous matador lives both his public and his private life on the edge. The last in a distinguished bloodline, he is plagued by the legacies of his great-grandfather, the greatest matador of his day and revered by Hemingway, and by his late father, who was gored to death in the arena. With sixty-two fights and a hundred and twenty bulls to confront in the coming season, Francisco must also endure the aggressive attention of the paparazzi, who pursue him for news of his colourful private life and breakdown of his marriage to a Spanish duchess.

Lewine witnesses at first hand, the thrilling routine of a top bullfighter – the rituals, the risks, and the stage fright – and assesses the significance of bullfighting in the context of Spanish identity. This national obsession encapsulates the uniqueness of Spanish culture.”

Here’s a press release about the book.

If you enjoyed this article why not read my poem En Ronda which was initially inspired by a sheet bearing a design from a photograph covering up a construction site, which I came across one morning walking into the city which is the Ordonez spiritual home, Ronda.

Finally, this CBS video spends a little time with Francisco and his kid brother Cayetano








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