The Thirty Years’ War in Italy

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One could be forgiven for thinking that Gregory Hanlon’s The Hero of Italy: Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma, his Soldiers, and his Subjects in the Thirty Years’ War is titled backwards. The peevish, heavyset Duke of Parma, a minor French ally in the war against the Habsburgs, is certainly the protagonist of Hanlon’s book, but this is neither a biography nor a particularly compelling case for his heroism. Rather, it is an examination of Parma’s two years in the war, and its effects on the broad swath of people under Odoardo’s rule, command, or occupation. Continue Reading »