Winder captures the moment when galleons, packed to the rafters with silver from the newly discovered and increasingly exploited south America, somewhat change the calculus in terms of fighting over a few muddy inches of the European map for miserable bits of real estate.  

… the old Europe in which English and French knights hit each other over the head for ownership of some drizzle-washed hamlet in the Pas de Calais …

For a great sampling of Winder’s triologisms, and a quote-packed tribute to his earlier book on Germany, see our bestellar review.

 

Source: Simon Winder, Danubia: A personal history of Habsburg Europe (London: Picador, 2013), p. 67

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