The reign of Philip III of Spain (1598SH1621) has been viewed traditionally as the age when Spain's world power started to wane. This book reappraises this interpretation and demonstrates that this period represented a realignment of Spanish power in world affairs. It also analyzes the career of the Duke of Lerma, Philip III's chief minister, the first of a series of European royal favorites (such as the Duke of Buckingham, Cardinal Richelieu, and the Count-Duke of Olivares) who influenced politics, court culture and the arts during the seventeenth century.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. The Rising Stars: Introduction; 1. The education of a king; 2. The making of a favourite; 3. Continuity or reform?; Part II. The King's Valido: Introduction; 4. The power of the king; 5. In his image and likeness; 6. The king's chief minister; Part III. Monarchy in Action: Introduction; 7. 'We need miracles'; 8. A corrupt regime?; 9. The regime's answer: peace and Catholicism; Part IV: Reversal of Fortune: Introduction; 10. Ideological confrontation and factional division; 11. Fall from power; 12. In search of culprits; Epilogue: the end of the privado; Bibliography; Index.