Inquisition: The Reign of fear

Historian Toby Green brings a dark period of Spanish history to life in this well thought out book. Toby examines the reasons behind the Inquisition, the original “faceless bureaucracy”, and shows us how it started as a political entity designed to enforce the control of the Spanish kings over their newly conquered Moorish possessions (Andalusia, etc) before gradually becoming a tool of political oppression.

Along the way, we delve into such byways as why the Spanish eat so much pork; trading with the colonies and why Spain loves paperwork. All from the Inquisition, it appears.

It is a thoroughly engrossing read, with fascinating first hand accounts of how the Inquisition affected individuals and their families. Highly recommended to anyone interested in this bleak period in Europe’s history and history buffs in general.

I read this quite some time ago, but a recent post by Tumbit on why the Spanish eat so much pork made me think of it, and I dug it out. Slightly dry in places, nonetheless an informative and fast read.

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