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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very detailed and useful overview of Charles V; especially good on Spain and the New World.
Published 7 months ago by Nicholas Jones

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
Hugh Thomas has authored two brilliant books about the Spanish conquest of the Americas, The Conquest of Mexico and Rivers of Gold, the latter work being the first volume of a trilogy about Spanish history from Columbus to Philip II. Unfortunately this second volume comes nowhere near the quality of those earlier works.

Thomas has always been fascinated by...
Published on 2 April 2012 by Copyzombie


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, 2 April 2012
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Copyzombie (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
Hugh Thomas has authored two brilliant books about the Spanish conquest of the Americas, The Conquest of Mexico and Rivers of Gold, the latter work being the first volume of a trilogy about Spanish history from Columbus to Philip II. Unfortunately this second volume comes nowhere near the quality of those earlier works.

Thomas has always been fascinated by people's family pedigrees in his works. What used to be an eccentricity, is now a hindrance disrupting the narrative flow. The reader is constantly distracted by lengthy descriptions of the newly introduced men's family origins. As the book has a large cast of characters, those digressions really tax the reader's patience without really adding anything to the story.

But the problems go deeper than that. The whole structure of the book is disjointed: one story is started, only to be interrupted by another, and it might take hundreds of pages before the original narrative's thread is picked up again. A lot was going on in the Americas during the time span of this book, and as a result the book is a bewildering collection of raids, nasty little wars and civil wars, daring treks of exploration as well as the most famous story of them all, Pizarro's conquest of the Incas. Thomas would have done well to concentrate on the most important of these ventures and devote less detail to others.

The book also has some editorial mistakes, the most obvious being the title of Book IV, 'Counter Reformation, Counter Renaissance' - there is not a word of these subjects in that book! (Nor anywhere else in The Golden Age.)

The Golden Age could have been so much better: research is still sound, and maps again are great. But while Thomas's earlier works were a pleasure to read, this one was a chore.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Names., 30 April 2014
This review is from: The Golden Age: The Spanish Empire of Charles V (Paperback)
Having read Rivers of Gold I was looking forward to this but after 147 pages I finally gave up. To many names, I read a lot of history and remembering names and who they are is difficult but interesting, you get the hang of it after a while. But this book just keeps delivering them and I eventually realised I wasn't actually learning anything and I'm sorry to say this led to giving up altogether (only second time I've done this). Don't know if Mr. Thomas is showing off or just trying to fill pages but I do think a few less names and more fact would work better. Shame first one was great and now I probably won't bother with the third.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 20 Oct. 2014
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Nicholas Jones (Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Very detailed and useful overview of Charles V; especially good on Spain and the New World.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 April 2015
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10/10
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0 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulous research, 29 Mar. 2013
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Nick Scott (Bruton, Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Golden Age: The Spanish Empire of Charles V (Paperback)
Delivered perfectly packed and very promptly; still looking forwarad to read ing it but I have read the previous volume, Rivers of Gold, and know from that that this book will have been meticulously researched by a leading historian.
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The Golden Age: The Spanish Empire of Charles V
The Golden Age: The Spanish Empire of Charles V by Hugh Thomas (Paperback - 24 Nov. 2011)
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