William Hickling Prescott

The Life and Letters of America’s First Scientific Historian

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About the Book

William Hickling Prescott (1796–1859) was one of those rare historians who effectively melded history and literature in an elegant, compelling writing style that appealed to the casual reader, while still meeting the strict criteria of the scholar. Prescott was the first American historian to achieve international recognition with his critically acclaimed History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. Plagued by poor vision and chronic health issues, he was determined to make his mark as a historian. His follow-up work, The History of the Conquest of Mexico, is considered his masterpiece.
Prescott went on to write A History of the Conquest of Peru, History of the Reign of Philip II and a 200–page addendum to William Robertson’s History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V. Drawing on correspondence and journal entries, this book traces the life of one of America’s most celebrated historians.

About the Author(s)

After a long career in the banking industry, Peter O. Koch now runs a small online business. The author of several books, his research interests include American Indian cultures and the New World expeditions of the Spaniards. He lives in Bradenton, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Peter O. Koch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6533-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2467-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

1. Puritan Pedigree 13

2. Worldly Views 33

3. Scholarly Pursuits 50

4. Their Catholic Majesties 65

5. Exceeding All Expectations 89

6. Continuing with the Spanish Theme 105

7. A Sudden Interest in Mexico 122

8. The Conquest of Peru 148

9. Philip II 174

10. Growing Heath Concerns 205

11. The Final Chapter 218

Chapter Notes 225

Bibliography 235

Index 237