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Alba: General and Servant to the Crown

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Third Duke of Alba, is one of the most formidable and controversial figures of the sixteenth century. He has been depicted as a great hero, an indefatigable defender of the Catholic faith and a true buttress of the Spanish monarchy, but also as a terrifying man, the dark suppressor of the revolt in the Low Countries.
During his long and fascinating life Alba revealed wide-ranging skills and interests. A successful soldier, he was also a distinguished courtier and an influential diplomat serving his monarchs, Charles V and Philip II, without fail. Moreover, he was a maecenas and an avid art collector. Using a variety of sources, including previously unexamined data, sixteen leading historians from eight countries present newly developed insights and offer a nuanced image of the Grand Duque. Adopting different perspectives, they shed new light on this intriguing and influential leader, thus showing that Alba continues to be deserving of study and discussion.



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Praise for Alba: General and Servant to the Crown

"The ultimate repository of all things Alba"
- Historisch Nieuwsblad, October 2014

"this volume marks another significant milestone in the construction, not only of Alba’s image in particular, but also that of the Spanish monarchy in the sixteenth century in general. It is a remarkable achievement with scholars from different countries and fields collaborating to give this more complete portrait of the third Duke of Alba, who still retains some part of his mythical aura"
- BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, No. 130(4)

Includes the following chapters:

  1. Alba: Statesman and Diplomat (Dr. Henry Kamen, The United Kingdom)
  2. Alba Cunctator? (Dr. René Quatrefages, France)
  3. The Duke of Alba in the Court of Charles V and Philip II (Prof. José Martínez Millán, Spain)
  4. The Duke of Alba: Governor of the Netherlands in Times of War (Dr. Gustaaf Janssens, Belgium)
  5. Alba and Religion (Prof. Werner Thomas, Belgium)
  6. The Manifestation of His Magnificence: The Third Duke of Alba and the Arts (Prof. Rosemarie Mulcahy, Ireland)
  7. The Third Duke of Alba: Collector and Patron of the Arts (Dr. Almudena Pérez de Tudela, Spain)
  8. Government and Administration of the House of Alba in the Sixteenth Century (Prof. José Manuel Calderón Ortega, Spain)
  9. The Duke of Alba in the Holy Roman Empire (Prof. Friedrich Edelmayer, Austria)
  10. Il Capo dei Capi: The Duke of Alba in Italy (Prof. M.J. Rodríguez-Salgado, The United Kingdom)
  11. The Duke of Alba and the Low Countries, 1520-73 (Dr. Raymond Fagel, the Netherlands)
  12. Alba in Portugal: Conquest and Government, 1580-82 (Dr. Rafael Valladares, Spain)
  13. Alba’s Reputation in the Early Modern Low Countries (Prof. Judith Pollmann, the Netherlands and Dr. Monica Stensland, Norway)
  14. Salamander of War, Venerable Old Nobleman: The Literary Construction of the Duke of Alba in the Spanish Golden Age (Dr. Yolanda Rodríguez Pérez, the Netherlands)
  15. Alba’s First Biographer: Juan Antonio de Vera y Figueroa, Count of La Roca, 1583-1658 (Dr. Maurits Ebben, the Netherlands)
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Manufacturer Karwansaray BV
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Customer Reviews (1)
A great book on a great man
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It's 2014 and in the worldchampionship football the Dutch beat the Spanish in the first round. In the Duth press some reference was made to the 80 Years war and usually the name Alba or -in dutch: - Alva pops up, together with William 'The Silent' of Orange. And that's about it, Alva's terrible reputation as a military dictator -and worse- as presented in Dutch popaganda in the 16th and 17th century has long been forgotten, especially after Geoffrey Parker's publication in the Netherlands of "the Spanish Road."

It's very great pleasure to see a Dutch publishing house offering a biography and bibliography on the Duke, giving a balanced view on one of Europe's great military leaders. Well written by numerous experts from Spain, the Low Countries, Austria, Ireland and the UK and with numerous high quality illustrations it's a great addition to your library.
Review by Edwin Groot (Posted on 6/27/2014)
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