The Castles and the Crown: Spain: 1451-1555

The Castles and the Crown: Spain: 1451-1555

The Castles and the Crown: Spain: 1451-1555

The Castles and the Crown: Spain: 1451-1555

Excerpt

This book touches many large matters--the end of the Middle Ages, the discovery of America, the Inquisition, the Reformation; its theme, for the analytically minded, is the rise of Spanish hegemony in Europe and the beginning of that hegemony's decline. But primarily it is the story of four people: Isabel the Catholic, Fernando the Catholic, Juana la Loca and Philip the Handsome. All of them were, of course--in their fashion and to their degree--sovereigns of Spain. They were also a family: mother and father, daughter and son-in-law. It was not a happy family; Fernando and Philip hated and schemed against each other, Juana and Philip began their marriage in reckless passion and ended it in bitterness and disgust, Isabel and Juana were in tragic disaccord. But under the impingements and collisions and misunderstandings their lots drew, each year, inexorably closer. And death brought them together at last: all four of them lie buried, side by side for ever, in the Royal Chapel of Granada's cathedral.

The wise, traveler to Granada stays--if he is both foresighted and fortunate--at the Parador of San Francisco, that ancient con-

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