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“Charles II was the last, the most degenerate and the most pathetic victim of Habsburg inbreeding.”[1]
Juan_de_Miranda_Carreno_002This dude’s family tree was one big clusterfuck.

The man had constant health-problems, was psychologically disturbed – and he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer – but he was king anyway because hey, Habsburgs.

Yet Spanish government owed its weakness not to any one monarch or single event but to a long process of neglect during which absolute power and central authority had been allowed to wither and decay.[2]

See, now that’s nice.

I only bring this tidbit up because I rediscovered this book, The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change by John Lynch, a real classic. All I’m saying is that if you’re interested in the sixteenth/seventeenth centuries and the Spanish Empire, give this one a try – then again, if you’re interested in these things, you probably already have.

[1]John Lynch, The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change, 1598-1700 (Cambridge, 1994), 348.
[2]Lynch, The Hispanic World, 348-9.