Excellently translated, with notes, this scholarly volume presents a detailed account of political, social and religious life in 15th century Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella, and also a biographical study of the two monarchs and their influence on Spanish and European history. Until the 15th century, Spain, exploited by her nobility and disrupted by struggles with Moslem invaders, played little part in European affairs; her ""general history"" began in 1469 with the marriage of the brilliant Isabella of Castile, heir to the throne, and Ferdinand, crafty son of the King of Aragon. These ""Catholic Sovereigns"", perfectly matched absolute monarchs, used their great power for what they believed to be the greatest possible good to the Spanish people. By 1499 they had united Spain into a European power; they had brought defiant nobles to obedience, reformed the Church and Army, fostered the voyages of Columbus, to the great credit of Isabella and the financial advantage of Spain, and established enlightened foreign and domestic policies. Less to their credit or to Spain's advantage, they had expelled Moors and Jews and established the Inquisition under Torquemada. An historian's history, too long and detailed for the average reader, this fine study will appeal to students and teachers of Spanish history and, for its account of New World discoveries and policies, to students of American beginnings; it should find a permanent place in reference libraries of Spanish and early American history.