The Basque Provinces: their political state, scenery, and inhabitants; with adventures amongst the Carlists and Christinos.

London, Whittaker & Co., 1837.

Two volumes, 8vo, pp. xii, 309; viii, 311; with a folding hand-coloured frontispiece-map of Bilbao and the surrounding area; a few isolated spots, but a good copy, untrimmed in the original dark green ribbed cloth, printed paper labels on spines; minor wear, spines slightly dulled; sixteen pages of publisher’s advertisements bound in at beginning of vol. I; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).


US $490€464

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First edition. The author spent three months among the Carlists in 1836 as correspondent for the Morning Post, arriving at Bayonne on 3 September 1836 and returning there on 13 January 1837. His account includes descriptions of the second siege of Bilbao and the Battle of Luchana.

For Stephens, enthusiastically pro-Carlist, the Basques were ‘fighting at once for loyalty and liberty, for the principle of legitimacy and the exercise of practical freedom; for the rights of their sovereign and their own constitutional privileges’ (vol. I, p. 15). ‘Before I crossed the Pyrenees, I confess I was often amazed at the strange duration of this eventful struggle, and the facility with which a scanty band of Guerrillas gradually swelled into a well organized and most formidable army. I went amongst this singular people – lived with them – shared in their toils and privations – and took my part in their dangers and amusements, till what surprised me before, surprises me no longer. The reader who may please to accompany me through the following pages, will find a faithful transcript of first impressions, daily observations, gradual enlightenment and final conviction’ (vol. I, p. v).

Alberich 1114; Palau 322304.

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