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Philip V, who reluctantly assumed the Spanish throne in 1700, was the first of the Bourbon dynasty which continues to rule Spain today. His 46-year reign, briefly curtailed in 1724 when he abdicated in favour of his short-lived son, Louis I, was one of the most important in the country's history. This account is the first biography of Philip V in English.
Drawing on contemporary opinion and fresh archival sources, Kamen discusses Philip's character, decisions and policies. He offers a new assessment of the king's illness (which led earlier historians to view Philip as mad) and re-evaluates the role of his two wives. Kamen's account of Philip as king also provides an essential introduction to the study of early eighteenth-century Spain and the Bourbon monarchy.