In the sixteenth century, the Spaniards became the first nation in history to have worldwide reach--across most of Europe to the Americas, the Philippines, and India. The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire would establish five centuries of Western supremacy across the globe and usher in an era of transatlantic exploration that eventually gave rise to the modern world. It was a time of discovery and adventure, of great political and social change--a time when Spain learned to rule the world.
It was also a time of great turbulence and transition, which fueled an exceptional flourishing of art and literature and inspired new ideas about international law, merchant banking, and economic and social theory. Chronicling the lives and achievements of a cast of legendary characters--great soldiers like the Duke of Alba, artists and writers like El Greco, Velázquez and Cervantes, and the powerful monarchs who ruled over them--Robert Goodwin delves into previously unrecorded sources to bring this tumultuous and exciting period to life. Spain is a revealing portrait of an empire at the height of its power and a world at the dawn of a new age.
About the Author
Dr Robert T. C. Goodwin was born and educated in London and was awarded his PhD by the University of London for his thesis on Golden Age Spain. His first major book, Crossing the Continent 1527–1540: The Story of the First African-American Explorer of the American South, was published in 2008. He is currently a full-time writer and historian and is a Research Associate at University College. He divides his time between London and Seville.
"A well-researched, intelligent and easily understood history of the first global empire on earth . . . Any student of the Renaissance should read this excellent work showing Spain's enormous impact on the arts and, with her vast American empire, the world." —Best Books of 2015, Kirkus
"A highly readable account of the birth of the first global superpower." —The Economist
"Goodwin adopts a page-turning style to convey the sheer magnitude of Spain in this period . . . Anyone wanting a better idea of the feel of this phase of Spanish history will be well served by this title." —Library Journal
"Goodwin is in complete command . . . A sweeping and revealing portrait of Spain at the height of its power and a world at the dawn of the modern age." —Bookreporter.com
"What distinguishes Goodwin from other historians of the period is the sheer multiplicity of his perspectives. He is erudite and concise in covering familiar ground, while full of original insight when it comes to the motives and actions of the key players . . . [I]t is not enough to bring truth to history. One must also bring life--and this book has it in golden abundance." —The Spectator
"Full of major revelations for most readers, this richly informed little book should be considered essential for understanding crusading, then and now." —starred review, Booklist on CROSSING THE CONTINENT
"Goodwin succeeds in lifting an important historical figure out of the fog of myth." —The Washington Post on CROSSING THE CONTINENT
"An adventure story more thrilling than Defoe or Melville could have imagined." —Philadelphia Inquirer on CROSSING THE CONTINENT