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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book The Conspiracy of the Ninth Duke of Medina Sidonia (1641): An Aristocrat in the Crisis of the Spanish Empire, which explains why the most powerful of all Castilian lords chose to sever his political loyalty to the king while the remaining great noblemen sought less risky and less aggressive means for getting through the difficult decade. The duke's confession, copies of which exist today in historical archives in several countries, was the basis used by successive generations of historians to explain the conspiracy. The book redefines the problem by focusing above all on the history of the house of Medina Sidonia, and tries to unravel the logic that inspired the duke and analyze the possibilities he had of success.

Keywords: aristocrat; Castilian lords; Medina Sidonia; Ninth Duke; Spanish Empire



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