Jeremy Black, professor of history at Exeter University, has written a vivacious and insightful survey of Portuguese history, designed for travellers to the country. A Brief History of Portugal
(Robinson, 2020) does exactly what it says on the tin. Beginning with the arrival of the first humans, the book describes the legacies of Roman culture, the Islamic conquest and the Reconquista that followed, before exploring Portugal’s rise as an imperial power during early modernity. The book discusses the crises of the nineteenth century, the character of the Salazar regime, and the liberalisation of culture and society from the 1970s to the present day. Filled with facts, this short account offers tips for travellers, and a few hours of happy escape for those for whom travel – during the pandemic – is impossible.
is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests focus on the history of puritanism and evangelicalism, and he is the author most recently of John Owen and English Puritanism
(Oxford University Press, 2016).