Follow the link for more information. A black-and-white photograph of when William Came Chapter 12: THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS middle-aged man wearing formal mid-19th century clothing facing left. American historian and Hispanist, who is widely recognized by historiographers to have been the first American scientific historian.
After an extensive period of study, during which he sporadically contributed to academic journals, Prescott specialized in late Renaissance Spain and the early Spanish Empire. Prescott was born in Salem, Massachusetts on May 4, 1796, the first of seven children, although four of his siblings died in infancy. His parents were William Prescott, Jr. Prescott began formal schooling at the age of seven, studying under Mr. The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1808, where his father’s earnings substantially increased. August 1811, at the age of 15. Prescott first traveled to the island of São Miguel in the Azores, where his grandfather and Portuguese grandmother lived.
In 1821, Prescott abandoned the idea of a legal career because of the continued deterioration of his eyesight, and resolved to devote himself to literature. Prescott first became interested in the history of Spain after his friend, the Harvard professor George Ticknor, sent him copies of his lectures on the subject. Prescott’s studies initially remained broad, but he started preparing material on Ferdinand and Isabella in January 1826. Voltaire’s Charles XII and William Roscoe’s Life of Lorenzo de Medici, which were to be the sources on which the History of Ferdinand and Isabella was to be based. Due in part to his own condition, Prescott was interested in aiding the blind and partially sighted.
His work was disturbed in February 1829 by the unexpected death of his eldest daughter Catherine, who was only four years old. The History of Ferdinand and Isabella was published on Christmas Day, 1837 by the American Stationery Company, Boston, with a print run of 500 copies. It was dedicated to his father. To the surprise of Prescott and the publisher, the book sold very well—the original print run was insufficient to adequately supply Boston’s bookshops, let alone the whole nation’s. Prescott expressed interest in his correspondence in writing a biography of Molière, and Ticknor records that he sent Prescott “a collection of about 50 volumes” of relevant material. In 1844, Prescott was painted by Joseph Alexander Ames, and also commissioned a bust from Richard Saltonstall Greenough. Shortly after the publication of the Conquest of Peru, Prescott turned his mind to writing a history of Philip II of Spain, which he had been contemplating for several years.