World Without End

World Without End

Spain, Philip II, and the First Global Empire

Book - 2015
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"World Without End is the climax of Hugh Thomas's great history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. It describes the conquest of Paraguay and the River Plate, of the Yucatan in Mexico, the only partial conquest of Chile, and battles with the French over Florida, and then, in the 1580s, the extraordinary projection of Spanish power across the Pacific to conquer the Philippines. It also describes how the Spanish ran the greatest empire the world had seen since Rome -- as well as conquistadores, the book is peopled with viceroys, judges, nobles, bishops, inquisitors and administrators of many different kinds, often in conflict with one another, seeking to organize the native populations into towns, and to build cathedrals, hospitals and universities. Behind them -- sometimes ahead of them -- came the religious orders, the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and finally the Jesuits, builders of convents and monasteries, many of them of astonishing beauty, and reminders of the pervasiveness of religion and the self-confidence of the age. Towering above them all, though moving rarely from his palace outside Madrid, is the figure of King Philip II, whom a contemporary called 'the arbiter of the world.' This is a supreme historical epic, full of valor and imagination, ambition and influence, ruthlessness and humanity"--
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2015.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780812998115
Branch Call Number: 946 THOMAS
Characteristics: xviii, 463 pages: color illustrations, maps, genealogical charts ; 25 cm


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Jan 26, 2018

Very disappointing: the author has done a lot of research, but doesn't know how to present it. People best absorb information when it is presented in a story, but he clogs his story with extraneous material and minutiae.

Sample: Henry was then taken to the nearby royal palace, {the rambling 'Maison Royale des Tournelles', so called because of its many little towers, built at the end of the fourteenth century by the Chancellor France, Pierre d'Orgemont.}

Everything between braces should have been cut.

finally: a quibble - the author mentions "Henry's grieving widow, the clever Catharine de' Medici." But in France she is styled Catherine des Médicis; in Italy, she would have been called Catarina, so make up your mind, which is it to be. . . ?


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