The cloister life of the Emperor Charles the Fifth . . . Second edition.

London, John W. Parker & Son, 1853.

8vo, pp. xxvii, 293, [1], [1, advertisement], title printed in red and black and with a vignette portrait of Charles V; some occasional minor foxing or spotting; original dark brown cloth; slightly rubbed, splits in cloth along joints, head and foot of spine slightly chipped; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).


US $169€149

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Second edition; first published the previous year. It is dedicated to Richard Ford, ‘as a mark of admiration for his writings, and as a memorial of friendship’.

‘Stirling’s most successful book in terms of sales and editions was The cloister life of the Emperor Charles the Fifth (1852), following his two articles on the subject in Fraser’s Magazine. It also appeared in German, Dutch, and Spanish translations. The great Renaissance figure was one of Stirling’s heroes and, like many historians, Stirling was fascinated by the emperor’s decision to abdicate power and retreat to a Spanish monastery. His study was inspired by an evocative drawing of the monastery at Yuste by Ford, to whom he dedicated the book, and he also composed a romantic ballad on the abdication. His book was nevertheless an important and rigorous piece of scholarship as well as a popular and accessible history, but as a standard reference work it was soon eclipsed by studies by Mignet and Gachard’ (Oxford DNB).

Palau 115942.

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