For half the sixteenth century, Antwerp was the place for breaking rules - religious, sexual, intellectual. Then things changed. One man cornered all the money in the city and reinvented ideas of what money meant. Another gave Antwerp a new shape purely out of his own ambition. Jews fleeing the Portuguese Inquisition needed Antwerp for their escape, thanks to the remarkable woman at the head of the grandest banking family in Europe. But when Antwerp rebelled with the Dutch against the Spanish and lost, all that glory was buried and its true history rewritten. The city that unsettled so many now became conformist. Mutinous troops burned the city records. Michael Pye sets out to rediscover the city that was lost and bring its wilder days to life using every kind of clue: novels, paintings, songs, schoolbooks, letters and the archives of Venice, London and the Medici.