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Is The Cook Of Castamar Based On A True Story?

If you're still chasing the thrill of "Bridgerton" there's a chance you've already discovered the latest sumptuous period piece that has been captivating viewers on Netflix since it was added to the streamer in July. "The Cook of Castamar" is a drama series from Spain that tells the story of a forbidden romance that scandalizes the upper-echelons of 18th-century Spanish society. The series has been popping on Netflix's list of the top 10 most viewed shows and if you're one of the many subscribers who has been tuning in you likely have one big question in mind: Is this wild story of debauchery and deception based on real events?

At the center of the series is Clara Belmonte (Michelle Jenner), a woman who has fallen on hard times following the death of her father. She takes a job as a cook for the wealthy Duke of Castamar (Roberto EnrĂ­quez), a man with who she should have no business associating outside of her prescribed professional role. However, when the Duke tastes Clara's cooking, he finds himself completely enchanted. The two begin a sordid affair that has long-reaching consequences for both their lives and the political environment they exist in.

So, is the story of Clara the cook and the Duke of Castamar inspired by actual events? The short answer is no. As far as the central characters and the main narrative of the series are concerned, "The Cook of Castamar" is a work of fiction. But that doesn't mean everything was invented out of thin air. The series uses details of the time period it's set in, as well as a few actual historical figures, to enhance what is otherwise a made-up tale.

The Cook of Castamar is a work of fiction that does include some real-life historical details and characters

While the love story at the center of "The Cook of Castamar" may be a work of fiction, the political and social backdrop that the tale is told against does draw from actual history. As with many of these types of "lovers from the wrong sides of the tracks" stories, much of the drama swirls around the strict rules of society that kept people regimented into social and class strata in the 18th century.

There are also some actual historical figures present in the story. Most notable are King Philip V (Joan Carreras) and Queen Isabel (Silvia Abascal) of Spain. In real life, King Philip ruled Spain for over four decades, a period that was rich in wheeling and dealing with the rest of Europe. However, that wasn't all necessarily because of the king himself. His second wife, Isabel, was known as a shrewd political player, and her ambitions to shore up the kingdom's claims to territories in her native Italy drove quite a bit of their foreign policy maneuvers (via Encyclopedia Britannica).

While "The Cook of Castamar" isn't strictly based on a real story, those who love a good historical drama will still find some kernels of truth to chew on.