The baroque in Spain is often known as the Siglo de Oro or the “Golden Age” for the incomparable accomplishments of its writers and artists, an exuberance funded in no small part by the riches of the New World.

But it was Spanish America’s silver rather than its gold which from 1565 tied the Spanish-speaking world to Asia, via the China ships or Manila galleons whose annual sailings connected Manila and Acapulco. The flowering of Spanish arts and letters during the Siglo de Oro was paralleled by the tremendous growth of commerce along la ruta de la plata, or Silver Way.

— From the introduction to Love in the Time of Silver: Baroque romantic Spanish poetry and prose, prepared for  2018 Hong Kong Book Fair  and the Spanish Consulate-General in Hong Kong and Macau. Presented on 18 July.