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There is little available on the dramatic and colourful history of the Spanish monarchy. Experienced author and historian John Van der Kiste provides a readable and anecdotal look at one of the key European dynasties from the nineteenth century to the present. He begins with the wayward, ill-educated Isabella II, who was forced to marry her nephew. During much of her reign power was in the hands of her generals and her exile and abdication saw the crown of Spain hawked round Europe for two years. It was briefly accepted then refused by Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen - thus starting the Franco-Prussian War - and, after a short, unsuccessful stint as a republic, the monarchy was restored when Isabella's son Alfonso XIII was chosen as King. John Van der Kiste leads us through his popular reign, the reign of his son - who married one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters - and the socialist movement in Spain after the Great War which led to the dictatorship of Primo de Rovera. Finishing with the Spanish Civil War, the 'reign' of General Franco and the return of the monarchy with the present King, Juan Carlos, this is a fascinating look at the Spanish Bourbons.

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Divided Kingdom
Average rating
5 / 5
Divided Kingdom
August 18th, 2014
Excellent read both entertaining and fact filled
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