This book is a very readable historical narrative of the Portuguese Empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The author has effectively rewritten his original thesis on the Portuguese overseas board (Conselho Ultramarino) into an overview that accounts for the several centers of power in the Portuguese Empire. The book is clearly inspired by classic works by Charles Boxer and A. J. Russel Wood that sought to provide a holistic view of how Portugal managed its imperial possessions during the early modern period. It nicely complements a volume recently published by Gabriel Paquette that deals with the Portuguese Empire in the late eighteenth century through the mid-nineteenth century.

Myrup’s book has many highlights, including his ability to weave together personal narratives to illustrate larger points about the Portuguese Empire. Chapter 1 focuses on the creation of the Conselho Ultramarino through...

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