An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.In 1474, when most women were almost powerless, twenty-three-year-old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and Le n. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-generation struggle between Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea. She laid the foundation for a unified Spain. She sponsored Columbus's trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World. She also annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inquisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuries. Whether saintly or satanic, no female leader has done more to shape our modern world. Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence. Using new scholarship, Downey's luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant, fervent, forgotten woman, the faith that propelled her through life, and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her command.
The legacy of imperial Spain was shaped by many hands. But the dramatic human story of the extraordinary projection of Spanish might in the second half of the sixteenth century has never been fully told--until now. In World Without End, Hugh Thomas chronicles the lives, loves, conflicts, and conquests of the complex men and women who carved up the Americas for the glory of Spain. Chief among them is the towering figure of King Philip II, the cultivated Spanish monarch whom a contemporary once called "the arbiter of the world." Cheerful and pious, he inherited vast authority from his father, Emperor Charles V, but nevertheless felt himself unworthy to wield it. His forty-two-year reign changed the face of the globe forever. Alongside Philip we find the entitled descendants of New Spain's original explorers--men who, like their king, came into possession of land they never conquered and wielded supremacy they never sought. Here too are the Roman Catholic religious leaders of the Americas, whose internecine struggles created possibilities that the emerging Jesuit order was well-positioned to fill. With the sublime stories of arms and armadas, kings and conquistadors come tales of the ridiculous: the opulent parties of New Spain's wealthy hedonists and the unexpected movement to encourage Philip II to conquer China. Finally, Hugh Thomas unearths the first indictments of imperial Spain's labor rights abuses in the Americas--and the early attempts by its more enlightened rulers and planters to address them. Written in the brisk, flowing narrative style that has come to define Hugh Thomas's work, the final volume of this acclaimed trilogy stands alone as a history of an empire making the transition from conquest to inheritance--a history that Thomas reveals through the fascinating lives of the people who made it. Praise for World Without End "Readers will not find a more reliable guide to the maturing Spanish Empire. . . . World Without End reminds us that the far-flung Spanish Empire was the work of many minds and hands, and by the end their myriad stories carry a cumulative charge."--The New York Times Book Review "A sweeping, encyclopedic history of the arrogance, ambition, and ideology that fueled the quest for empire."--Kirkus Reviews
"Literary power is a vital part of a great historian's armoury. As in his earlier books, Thomas demonstrates here that he has this in abundance."--Financial Times
"A vivid climax to Hugh Thomas's three-volume history of imperial Spain."--The Telegraph "Thomas clearly excels in the Spanish history of religion, politics, and culture, and] successfully shows that Spain's global ambition knew no bounds."--Publishers Weekly
From the acclaimed author of Warriors of God comes a riveting account of the pivotal events of 1492, when towering political ambitions, horrific religious excesses, and a drive toward international conquest changed the world forever.James Reston, Jr., brings to life the epic story of Spain's effort to consolidate its own burgeoning power by throwing off the yoke of the Vatican. By waging war on the remaining Moors in Granada and unleashing the Inquisitor Torquemada on Spain's Jewish and converso population, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella attained enough power and wealth to fund Columbus' expedition to America and to chart a Spanish destiny separate from that of Italy. With rich characterizations of the central players, this engrossing narrative captures all the political and religious ferment of this crucial moment on the eve of the discovery of the New World.
Named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1996One of the earliest known autobiographies by a woman, this is the extraordinary tale of Catalina de Erauso, who in 1599 escaped from a Basque convent dressed as a man and went on to live one of the most wildly fantastic lives of any woman in history. A soldier in the Spanish army, she traveled to Peru and Chile, became a gambler, and even mistakenly killed her own brother in a duel. During her lifetime she emerged as the adored folkloric hero of the Spanish-speaking world. This delightful translation of Catalina's own work introduces a new audience to her audacious escapades.
Bullfighting has long been perceived as an antiquated, barbarous legacy from Spain's medieval past. In fact, many of that country's best poets, philosophers, and intellectuals have accepted the corrida as the embodiment of Spain's rejection of the modern world. In his brilliant new interpretation of bullfighting, Adrian Shubert maintains that this view is both the product of myth and a complete misunderstanding of the real roots of the contemporary bullfight.
While references to a form of bullfighting date back to the Poem of the Cid (1040), the modern bullfight did not emerge until the early 18th century. And when it did emerge, it was far from being an archaic remnant of the past--it was a precursor of the 20th-century mass leisure industry. Indeed, before today's multimillion-dollar athletes with wide-spread commercial appeal, there was Francisco Romero, born in 1700, whose unique form of bullfighting netted him unprecedented fame and wealth, and Manuel Rodriguez Manolete, hailed as Spain's greatest matador by the New York Times after a fatal goring in 1947. The bullfight was replete with promoters, agents, journalists, and, of course, hugely-paid bullfighters who were exploited to promote wine, cigarettes, and other products. Shubert analyzes the business of the sport, and explores the bullfighters' world: their social and geographic origins, careers, and social status. Here also are surprising revelations about the sport, such as the presence of women bullfighters--and the larger gender issues that this provoked. From the political use of bullfighting in royal and imperial pageants to the nationalistic "great patriotic bullfights" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this is both a fascinating portrait of bullfighting and a vivid recreation of two centuries of Spanish history.
Based on extensive research and engagingly written, Death and Money in the Afternoon vividly examines the evolution of Spanish culture and society through the prism of one of the West's first--and perhaps its most spectacular--spectator sports.
The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.
The author of The Fatal Shore links 1,500 years of Catalan history with the architecture, painting, sculpture, music, and poetry of Barcelona to pay tribute to the intense accomplishments of the Catalunya culture. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. Tour.
A spellbinding story of love amid the devastation of the Spanish Civil War
Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe--a conflict one writer will call "the decisive thing of the century"--six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes that this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, want to capture history in the making and are inventing modern photojournalism in the process. And Arturo Barea, chief of the Spanish government's foreign press office, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause--a struggle that places both of them in peril.
Beginning with the cloak-and-dagger plot that precipitated the first gunshots of the war and moving forward month by month to the end of the conflict. Hotel Florida traces the tangled and disparate wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history: a moment that called forth both the best and the worst of those caught up in it. In this noir landscape of spies, soldiers, revolutionaries, and artists, the shadow line between truth and falsehood sometimes became faint indeed--your friend could be your enemy and honesty could get you (or someone else) killed.
Years later, Hemingway would say, "It is very dangerous to write the truth in war, and the truth is very dangerous to come by." In Hotel Florida, from the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, the celebrated biographer Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it, telling it, and living it--whatever the cost.
*INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS