(London: Richard Bentley, 1850, 1849, 1849). 180 x 115 mm. (7 x 4 1/2"). Three volumes. Sixth Edition of volume I, Fifth Edition of volumes II and III.
FINE CONTEMPORARY TAN POLISHED CALF, covers bordered by double gilt fillet and blind roll, raised bands, spines lavishly gilt in compartments with fleuron formed of small tools, pomegranate cornerpieces, one brown and one red morocco label, marbled endpapers and edges. Flyleaf of first volume inscribed in ink: "J. R. Farquharson / from his sincere friend / M. M. Prendergast / on his leaving Eton. / Election 1850." Three small indentations to rear board of one volume, last quire of volume I with upper corner creased, other trivial imperfections, but AN ESPECIALLY FINE SET, clean, fresh, and bright internally, with no signs of use inside or out.
This history of Spain under the eventful rule of Ferdinand and Isabella is in virtually the same condition today as when it was presented by one Eton "old boy" to another. William H. Prescott (1796-1859) was an American historian specializing in Spain and the Spanish Empire. Originally published in 1837, the present work quickly became a classic in the field, along with his two other major works: "The History of the Conquest of Mexico" (1843), and "A History of the Conquest of Peru" (1847). Both the giver and the recipient of this set left the playing fields of Eton to serve in Her Majesty's forces defending the Empire. James Ross Farquharson (d. 1888) of Invercauld, Scotland, served in the Crimea, eventually rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Scots Fusilier Guards. Maunsell Mark Prendergast (d. 1907) became a Major General in the 4th Bengal cavalry, fighting in the Indian mutiny at the siege of Lucknow. Lt. Col. Farquharson apparently never found time to read Prendergast's gift, and it remains in outstanding condition. (ST16795)