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Conquerors

Roger Crowley

From the celebrated author of Empires of the Sea, Conquerors tells how the tiny country of Portugal set about exploring and conquering the world in the 16th Century

66 in stock

£10.99
Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571290901
Date Published
04.08.2016
Delivery
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Summary

As remarkable as Columbus and the conquistador expeditions, the history of Portuguese exploration is now almost forgotten. But Portugal’s navigators cracked the code of the Atlantic winds, launched the expedition of Vasco da Gama to India and beat the Spanish to the spice kingdoms of the East – then set about creating the first long-range maritime empire. In an astonishing blitz of thirty years, a handful of visionary and utterly ruthless empire builders, with few resources but breathtaking ambition, attempted to seize the Indian Ocean, destroy Islam and take control of world trade.

Told with Roger Crowley’s customary skill and verve, this is narrative history at its most vivid – an epic tale of navigation, trade and technology, money and religious zealotry, political diplomacy and espionage, sea battles and shipwrecks, endurance, courage and terrifying brutality. Drawing on extensive first-hand accounts, it brings to life the exploits of an extraordinary band of conquerors – men such as Afonso de Albuquerque, the first European since Alexander the Great to found an Asian empire – who set in motion five hundred years of European colonisation and unleashed the forces of globalisation.

Critic Reviews

Fast-paced and vivid narrative...a fascinating account of the rise of an empire.

Francois Soyer, BBC History Magazine
Critic Reviews

In his previous studies of 15th- and 16th-century struggles between Christians and Ottomans for control of the Mediterranean, Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical - qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.

Michael Prodger, Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Magnificently rip-roaring history of Portugal's rise to world empire ... Conquerors is a gloriously entertaining read ... it reads like an epic, bursting with colour and excitement. Unlike many academics who have written about the age of European expansion, Crowley never wastes a syllable on post-colonial gobbledegook, but just cracks on with the action ... prodigiously entertaining book.

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

Crowley brings a gift for vivid (and gory) storytelling buttressed by a firm grasp of the political and religious dimensions of the time ... Crowley's pages burst with action ... he opens the reader's eyes to a now lost chapter in the western encounter with the lands of the East.

The National
Critic Reviews

Readers of Crowley's previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks ... Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal's significance as forger of the first global empire.

Daily Telegraph
Critic Reviews

A] fast-moving and highly readable narrative, which covers the voyages of Dias and da Gama and the battles and conquests of Almeida and Albuquerque. [Crowley's] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.

History Today
RogerCrowley

Roger Crowley read English at Cambridge. He has had a varied career as a teacher and publisher and is the author of three books on the history of the Mediterranean. He lives in Gloucestershire and now writes full time. His website address is www.rogercrowley.co.uk

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