John Edwards

In Spanish Steps

World Without End: The Global Empire of Philip II

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 464pp £30 order from our bookshop

There has always been a deep reluctance among what Winston Churchill called ‘the English-speaking peoples’ to acknowledge their predecessors in European empire-building in other parts of the world. Yet wherever the British went in their globetrotting, whether as pirates, traders or governors, they very often found that the Spanish, or their Iberian neighbours the Portuguese, had been there first. In his long and distinguished career as a historian, Hugh Thomas has battled to restore the Spanish to their proper place in world history, for better or worse. This substantial volume completes a trilogy, covering the Spanish imperial adventure from Columbus’s ‘discoveries’ to the death of Philip II just over a century later, in 1598. Primarily concerned with Philip’s time as king of Spain, from 1556 until his death, the book tackles the period, which may be regarded as the highpoint of the Spanish Empire, from a variety of angles.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,