1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half

Douglas & McIntyre, 25/07/2011 - 336 páginas
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When Columbus triumphantly returned from America to Spain in 1493, his discoveries inflamed an already-smouldering conflict between Spain's renowned monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Portugal's João II. Which nation was to control the world's oceans? To quell the argument, Pope Alexander VI - the notorious Rodrigo Borgia - issued a proclamation laying the foundation for the Treaty of Tordesillas, an edict that created an imaginary line in the Atlantic Ocean dividing the entire known (and unknown) world between Spain and Portugal.

Just as the world's oceans were about to be opened by Columbus's epochal voyage, the treaty sought to limit the seas to these two favoured Catholic nations. The edict was to have a profound influence on world history: it propelled Spain and Portugal to superpower status, steered many other European nations on a collision course and became the central grievance in two centuries of international espionage, piracy and warfare.

At the heart of one of the greatest international diplomatic and political agreements of the last five centuries were the strained relationships and passions of a handful of powerful individuals. They were linked by a shared history, mutual animosity and personal obligations.

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Acerca do autor (2011)

Stephen R. Bown has been writing about adventurers, travellers and explorers for many years. His book Scurvy was an international critical success and was selected as one of the Globe & Mail's Top 100 books of 2004. His next book, A Most Damnable Invention, was shortlisted for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and the Canadian Science Writers Association Science in Society Book Award. Madness, Betrayal and the Lash was shortlisted for the Lela Common Award for History and won the BC Booksellers Choice Award. Merchant Kings was shortlisted for last year's Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and recently received a *starred* review in Publishers Weekly. He lives in the Canadian Rockies with his wife and two children.

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