This groundbreaking book. . . is based on meticulous archival research and a thorough reading of the pertinent scholarship. It is well organized and the use of subheadings within chapters makes the material more accessible to readers. . . . Owens makes an original and substantial contribution. . . All those interested in the nature of monarchial government in Castile will benefit from closely reading this book. PARLIAMENTS, ESTATES, AND REPRESENTATIVES, Volume 28 (Sean T. Perrone) Students of Spanish history will particularly appreciate Owens's insights into the nature of monarchy in Castile. His discussion, moreover, will challenge political historians of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries throughout Europe who enodw the "state" with wishful authority. HISPANIC AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, November 2005 Handsomely-produced and extensively documented, the book is essential reading for scholars interested in the evolution of the European state. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY Owens's polyphony of personalities, motives, and local circumstances in early modern Castilian Spain exposes a consistency in occurrences not traditionally linked, and a revealing homogeneity of priorities in litigation issues and governmental principles across two dynasties, Trastamara and Hapsburg. --Edward Cooper, London Metropolitan University In this challenging and original book, J. B. Owens questions historians' most cherished assumptions about the growth of absolutism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Owens's vision ranges over three centuries and across two continents to give a wide-ranging and sophisticated account of the interplay between the Hispanic monarchy and its constituencies. --Sara T. Nalle, William Paterson University Owens demonstrates masterfully how conflicts we identify as political were debated and resolved in the Castlian court-system, and how the ability of the king to adjudicate them was the basis for his so called "absolute authority." Challenging our understanding of the early modern state, this book is likely to transform the way its readers understand the past. --Tamar Herzog, Stanford University Owens' contibution is a welcome addition to the growing corpus of literature on the state and political culture in early modern Europe. An excellent, thought-provoking, and well archived work. THE MEDIEVAL HISTORY JOURNAL (Rila Mukherjee)
About the Author
J. B. Owens is a professor of history at Idaho State University.