Spain

  • by Robert Goodwin
  • Narrated by Jeremy Clyde
  • 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire would establish five centuries of Western supremacy across the globe and usher in an era of transatlantic exploration that eventually gave rise to the modern world. It was a time of discovery and adventure, of great political and social change - it was a time when Spain learned to rule the world.
Assembling a spectacular cast of legendary characters like the Duke of Alba, El Greco, Miguel de Cervantes, and Diego Velázquez, Robert Goodwin brings the Spanish Golden Age to life with the vivid clarity and gripping narrative of an epic novel. From scholars and playwrights, to poets and soldiers, Goodwin is in complete command of the history of this tumultuous and exciting period. But the superstars alone will not tell the whole tale - Goodwin delves deep to find previously unrecorded sources and accounts of how Spain's Golden Age would unfold, and ultimately, unravel.
Spain is a sweeping and revealing portrait of Spain at the height of its power and a world at the dawn of the modern age.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brilliant intro to a history I knew little about

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely! Robert Goodwin cleverly weaves together descriptions of the main historical characters & landmark events of Spain's Golden Age with wonderful insights into the staggeringly great art and literature of the period.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Miguel de Cervantes who, as well as writing the first modern novel (Don Quixote) was a tax collector, prisoner of the moors, soldier and courtier. He's witty, ironic, brave and evidently not entirely to be trusted.


Which character – as performed by Jeremy Clyde – was your favourite?

Robert Goodwin gives a precis of Don Quixote, read delightfully by Jeremy Clyde. (Thank God for a decent narrator.)


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Possibly a bit too long for one session, but it was engaging stuff.


Any additional comments?

Now I want to read more about Garcy Lasso and the other poets dicussed in the first part of the book.

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- Mary

Enjoyable, clever, funny - but perplexing.

This is a perplexing book to review. The author states in the introduction that it will be a less formal history than is perhaps the norm, and in some ways this is the book's great strength. However, its gossipy tone in some sections seems to have drawn the narrator into feeling that an arch voice and delivery is always appropriate, and I'm not sure I agree. For example, I have been left with an image of Garci Lasso de la Vega as a kind of Kenneth Williams clone in Carry on Conquistador, and I'm not sure that does the greatest poet of his age justice. In fairness, the narrator does get on with his task, which is always to be admired, and has a fine, confiding tone. There are lots of terrific stories and vignettes which really help to illuminate the better known historical themes, and these are the book's greatest joys. There's also some fine analysis of broad political and cultural strands in Spanish and European society which would stand examination in much more august company. However, there are also significant longueurs which even the chatty narration can't cover. The discussion of Don Quixote feels as long as the novel itself, and for all but the most devoted literary scholar must be really taxing. Certain passages discussing the specifics of painting and sculpture fall into the same trap. Nonetheless, I'm glad I listened to it, I enjoyed the vast majority of it, and I laughed and learned a great deal from the experience. If I knew the Spanish for curate's egg, I'd quote it here.
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- Mr.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-05-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury