(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1874). 238 x 152 mm. (9 3/8 x 6"). Four volumes.
VERY PRETTY DECORATIVE CONTEMPORARY HALF CALF, raised bands, spines handsomely gilt in double-ruled compartments with scrolling cornerpieces and intricate central lozenge, one red and one green morocco label on each spine, marbled boards, edges, and endpapers. With frontispiece portraits and one folding map. Very small area of slight discoloration at head of one spine, a vague hint of chafing to paper sides, otherwise A FINE SET with only very minor imperfections, the decorative bindings showing little wear, and the text remarkably smooth, fresh, and clean.
This is the second work on the Netherlands by American diplomat and historian John Lothrop Motley (1814-77), following the considerable success of his "Rise of the Dutch Republic." In his "United Netherlands," Motley examines the struggle pitting England and the Netherlands against Spain, including a look at the rise and fall of the Spanish Armada. This work, which ANB notes is "memorable for the vivid portraits of Elizabeth I of England and Philip II," garnered Motley praise "for his archival research and use of unpublished manuscripts, and for the labor and art that he invested in his descriptions that put the reader in the scenes described." Explaining the attributes that made our author so popular, ANB says that "Motley was a romantic historian who combined the literary qualities of the epic novel--drama, spectacle, heroic characterization, and unified themes--with careful research from original sources." Although he spent much of his life abroad, Motley was a member of the Boston literary circle that included Hawthorne, Lowell, Longfellow, and Motley's future biographer, Oliver Wendell Holmes. (ST11462a-094)