1492 – Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Senior Reader

1492 was sourced cheaply, as always, being part of a 4 for £10 deal in the Totnes remaindered bookshop – and well worth the punt.

Narrative history is a genre that I really like.  There is the excuse of its educational value: the benefits of vicarious travel, with the convenience of a cup of tea and a toasted teacake.

1492 is disingenuous title for a book that covers a longer historical period around that time, but the concise title is a good way in, and the case for this period as a significant point of global change is interesting.  Broadly the writer argues that the major political blocs that dominate the modern world were formed or consolidated around this time – the beginnings of the Russian empire, the final conversion or expulsion of non-Christians from Spain, the division of Africa into spheres of either Islamic or Christian influence, the consolidation of…

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