The book begins its history with the landing of Columbus in the fifteenth century and the start of European influence. Connors's study delves into Cuba's role as a way station for Mexican gold being shipped back to Spain and examines the cultivation of the country's tobacco and sugar industries that made the then Spanish empire extremely wealthy and the envy of the European powers.
The book's timeline spans five centuries in 176 pages including 185 color photographs by Bruce Buck. Each photo portrays lavish pieces of art and furniture whose details show the influence of various cultures on the island, including Spanish, Arabic, French, English, Dutch and African.
A reader follows along as Connors, a professor at New York University with a PhD. in decorative arts, explores the events of the time through the spectrum of different works, from tables to cathedrals, produced by the various inhabitants.
Published by Harry N. Abrams Inc., Cuban Elegance is sold in hardcover and retails for $40. Go to www.abramsbooks.com for more information.