Rivers of Gold

Rivers of Gold : The Rise of the Spanish Empire 1490-1522

3.64 (223 ratings by Goodreads)
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When, in 1492, Christopher Columbus finally stood ready to set sail across the 'Ocean Sea' for what he thought was India, he crossed himself and devoted his expedition to the Holy Trinity and to the King and Queen of Spain. With the gold and spices (and slaves) he would find, Columbus planned to fund a new Crusade to win back Jerusalem. At the time Columbus's voyage was insignificant, but it became one of the most important events in history. The colonisation he started was followed by the Dutch, French and British. Pioneers like Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and the hundreds of Spaniards they inspired looked for riches, glory and to serve God in the New World. While they didn't believe the earth was flat, they thought an Earthly Paradise existed on the far side of the Indies, and that the rivers flowed with gold. Later the Conquistadores brought slavery, their irresistible weapons and European diseases to the ancient civilisations, and made Spain the richest nation in the world. 'A splendid volume, bold and strong in its outlines, rich in fascinating details, punctuated by well-chosen quotations from contemporaries and eyewitnesses, and accompanied by many maps and excellent illustrations' Paul Johnson, Literary Reviewshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 688 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 52mm | 662.26g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0753817934
  • 9780753817933
  • 2,122,152

About Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas has won the Somerset Maugham Prize and the National Book Award for History. He was chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies 1979-89 and received a peerage in 1981. He lives in London.show more

Review quote

"Its publication simply affirms Hugh Thomas's record as one of the most productive and wide-ranging historians of modern times." NEW YORK TIMES BOOKS REVIEW "Hugh Thomas has written a detailed narrative that is utterly enthralling." Ingmar Collinson, Waterstone's Hull WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY "So steeped is he in the spirit of the time, so familiar with its people and places that we almost feel he must have been there at the time." SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "what a bloody briliant canvas he paints... Moving with skill and pace across the Atlantic, he shows in dramatic detail that Spain's rapid expansion transformed Europe as much as the Americas." INDEPENDENT "Thomas has developed an engagingly discursive style that alights on illuminating detail to enrich a panoramic narrative." -- IAIN FINLAYSON THE TIMESshow more

Rating details

223 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 18% (40)
4 39% (87)
3 34% (76)
2 8% (17)
1 1% (3)
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