"Until that moment Diego had not been conscious of his dual personality, one part Diego de la Vega, elegant, affected, hypochondriac, and the other part El Zorro, audacious, daring, playful." Born in southern California late in the 18th century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage. At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins "La Justicia," a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With these tumultuous times as backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege. Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born and the legend begins. After many adventures-duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues-Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.
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"[ZORRO is] beautiful and disturbing and profound, and anyone who tells you it isn't is clearly immune to whatever part of the normal human being thrills to feats of derring-do, and has clearly forgotten also what it's like to fashion a makeshift cape from an old shirt, to use a tie as a cummerbund, a stick as a sword, and ...
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