Philip of Spain

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Yale University Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
6 Reviews
Philip II of Spain--ruler of the most extensive empire the world had ever known--has been viewed in a harsh and negative light since his death in 1598. Identified with repression, bigotry, and fanaticism by his enemies, he has been judged more by the political events of his reign than by his person. This book, published four hundred years after Philip's death, is the first full-scale biography of the king. Placing him within the social, cultural, religious, and regional context of his times, it presents a startling new picture of his character and reign.

Drawing on Philip's unpublished correspondence and on many other archival sources, Henry Kamen reveals much about Philip the youth, the man, the husband, the father, the frequently troubled Christian, and the king. Kamen finds that Philip was a cosmopolitan prince whose extensive experience of northern Europe broadened his cultural imagination and tastes, whose staunchly conservative ideas were far from being illiberal and fanatical, whose religious attitudes led him to accept a practical coexistence with Protestants and Jews, and whose support for Las Casas and other defenders of the Indians in America helped determine government policy. Shedding completely new light on most aspects of Philip's private life and, in consequence, on his public actions, the book is the definitive portrayal of Philip II.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

A solid biography less partisan than most earlier ones; tends to see Philip as more pragmatic and capable than most hostile writers. I'm not sure I'm convinced. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - yooperprof - LibraryThing

Kamen attempts a revisionist make-over of King Philip II, often regarded as one of the great villains of early modern European history. (c.f. "Don Carlos," the play by Schiller and the opera by Verdi ... Read full review

Contents

The Formative Years 15271544 i
1
The Renaissance Prince 15451551
21
Soldier and King 15511559
50
The Cross and the Crescent 15591565
79
Towards Total War 15661572
108
Dropping the Pilot 15721580
143
The World of Philip II
178
The Statesman
211
The Time of Thunder 15871593
269
Last Years 15931598
301
Epilogue
317
List of Abbreviations
322
Notes
324
A Note on Sources
363
Index
369
Copyright

War in the West 15801586
242

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About the author (1998)

Henry Kamen has been professor of the Higher Council for Scientific Research in Barcelona since 1993. Before that he held various university posts in England and the United States. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is the author of several books on European and Spanish history, including The Phoenix and the Flame: Catalonia and the Counter Reformation, published by Yale University Press.

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