Hugh Thomas: The Anglo-Saxons Were Spain’s Longtime Inferiors Reply

Hugh Thomas historian

A review of World Without End: The Global Empire of Philip II, by Hugh Thomas published on This history of the Spanish Empire seems more interested in the conquerors than the conquered but still makes its argument well

‘Every schoolboy knows who imprisoned Montezuma and who strangled Atahualpa.’ Macaulay, anticipating Gove, was complaining that the schoolboys by contrast did not get enough about Clive and the British conquest of India. Hugh Thomas, in this and in the two previous volumes of his trilogy on the Spanish empire, presumes that we have all forgotten about Montezuma and Atahualpa, and argues that we do not appreciate Spain’s imperial achievements. He is probably right, and he sets one off to speculate why.



Felipe II banquet

King Philip II (1527-98) (far left) banqueting with his Courtiers, 1596 (oil on canvas)


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