Rivers of Gold : The Rise of the Spanish Empire
2003. First edition. A fine, unmarked copy in a fine, unclipped d/w.
In 1492 Columbus launchged what became the most important series of events in history. He believed that China could be reached from Europe by sailing west. A quarter century later, showed that to be true. Inspired by the hope of both riches and of converting native people to Christianity, the Spanish adventurers convinced themselves that an Earthly Paradise existed in the caribbean and that the rivers flowed with gold. Hundreds set sail on the precarious journey across the Atlantic. These conquistadors took wheel as well as guns, malaria and black slaves. In return the Indies gave Europe the potato, the turkey and syphilis. Within thirty years, Spain had created an empier that made her the most envied nation in the world. In an epic history the prize-winning author, Hugh Thomas, brings the early years of Spain's inperial achievement vividly to life. Rivers of Gold captures the spirit of an ebullient age.