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.
©2015 Robert Goodwin (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 08-07-15

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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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mr. on 10-09-15

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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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 14-10-15

Dry. but if you're into that sort of thing . . .

Would you listen to Spain again? Why?

This is an interesting history that draws from several great sources. Great history. I say it is dry, but that is probably only if you're not into reading/listening to history.

What did you like best about this story?

The anecdotal history. For example, the description of the legal system and the case between Cervantes and Mendoza.

What does Jeremy Clyde bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I wouldn't find time to read this book. The narration keeps me engaged.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By futureHead on 17-09-15

Great Cultural HIstory of Spain

Would you listen to Spain again? Why?

This is a great history of Spain if you are interested in culture and the arts. For someone like me who doesn't have a lot of background knowledge of Spain's Golden Era I could get turned around a bit at times, but it's nothing that Wikipedia and/or re-reading certain sections couldn't help resolve. Names and places can always be confusing in any history book unless you already have a background in it. I enjoyed this book because it was very entertaining, aside from some meandering here and there, and that is something many history books find hard to achieve.

What does Jeremy Clyde bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't usually write reviews, but I thought I would come to the defense of Jeremy Clyde's reading of Spain. His Spanish pronunciation is admittedly not the best but I'm glad I went ahead and got this. I find his tone and reading perfect for the book, particularly the dialog parts.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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