- Though run by Church officials, the Inquisition was more an arm of Madrid than of Rome; the Spanish king and government exercised control over it as far as anyone did. Though it was set up to extirpate heresy, this was heresy treated as a crime against the civil order.
- The context of 1480 was that of the final victory of Christian rulers over Muslims in Spain, which of course could not be known to be final at the time; Pérez seems to consider that a fair amount of the Inquisition's persecution of backsliding converts from Islam or Judaism was a response to a real phenomenon rather than a witch-hunt of imaginary foes.
- Speaking of which, the Inquisition rarely took charges of witchcraft per se seriously and tended to acquit accused witches brought before it.
- Having said that, the Inquisition was far more brutal and violent than other judicial mechanisms dealing with religious difference, even in a bloodthirsty and bigoted period of history.
I did have one laugh-out-loud moment, when zealots complained that the public reading of the edict of faith, which described heretical practices in some detail, was actually disseminating knowledge of the practices it was supposed to condemn. I doubt if it made much difference; I shouldn't think anyone was really listening.
Anyway, a cheap remainder purchase a couple of years ago which justified the £2 it cost me.