Four centuries of systematic condemnation have made the Spanish Inquisition synonymous with terror, cruelty and tyranny. But this image is false. In recent years historians–supported by the Inquisition’s own remarkably detailed documents–have taken a fresh look at Spain’s “black legend.” It turns out that every one of the cases brought before the inquisition during its 350-year history had its own file. Thanks largely to the pioneering work of British professor Henry Kamen, who has dedicated his academic life to the Inquisition, much of it under the auspices of the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Superior Council of Scientific Research in Barcelona), we have a new view of the Inquisition. Kamen’s 1998 book, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, provides evidence that the Inquisition was not made up of fanatics who rejoiced in torture and executions. He concludes, in fact, that the Inquisition jails were more humane and better run that ordinary prisons in Spain and in the rest of Europe.