This book, published four hundred years after Philip's death, is the first full-scale biography of the king. Placing him within the social, cultural, religious and regional context of his times, it presents a startling new picture of his character and reign. Drawing on Philip's unpublished correspondence and on many other archival sources, Henry Kamen reveals much about Philip the youth, the man, the husband, the father, the frequently troubled Christian and the king. Kamen finds that Philip was a cosmopolitan prince whose extensive experience of northern Europe broadened his cultural imagination and tastes, whose staunchly conservative ideas were far from being illiberal and fanatical, whose religious attitudes led him to accept a practical coexistence with Protestants and Jews, and whose support for Las Casas and other defenders of the Indians in America helped determine government policy. Shedding completely new light on most aspects of Philip's private life and, in consequence, on his public actions, this book is the definitive portrayal of Philip II.
Drawing on four decades of research and a recent archival discovery, revises the biography of the sixteenth-century monarch as it relates to his work, religion, and personal life, and sheds light on the causes of his leadership failures.
In this spellbinding biography, the definitive work on Philip, Geoffrey Parker drew upon a vast, previously untapped collection of the king's private correspondence, in which he expressed his emotions, personal thoughts, and social philosophy. This new edition has a Bibliographical Essay, evaluating the many new works on Philip published on and around the 400th anniversary of his death.
Philip II of Spain, the most powerful monarch in sixteenth-century Europe and a ferocious empire-builder, was matched against the dauntless queen of England, Elizabeth I, determined to defend her country and thwart Philip's ambitions. Philip had been king of England while married to Elizabeth's half-sister, Bloody Mary Tudor, a devout Catholic. After Mary's untimely death, he courted Elizabeth, the new queen, and proposed marriage to her, hoping to build a permanent alliance between his country and hers and return England to the Catholic fold. Lukewarm to the Spanish alliance and resolute against a counter-reformation, Elizabeth declined his proposal.
When under her guidance England's maritime power grew to challenge Spain's rule of the sea and threaten its rich commerce, Philip became obsessed with the idea of a conquest of England and the restoration of Catholicism there, by fire and sword. Elizabeth - bold, brilliant, defiantly Protestant - became his worst enemy.
In 1586 Philip began assembling the mighty Spanish Armada, and in May 1588 it sailed from Lisbon. With superior seamanship and strategies, Elizabeth's navy defeated and drove off the Spanish fleet. Forced to retreat around the northern coasts of Scotland and Ireland, Philip's ships ran into violent storms that wreaked havoc. It was the rivalry's climactic event.