Don John of Austria

Don John of Austria: or passages from the History of the Sixteenth Century 1547-1578.

by William Stirling-Maxwell

Like a fairy-tale prince Jerome, as he was then called, was brought up in obscurity, ignorant of his parentage. But this prince had no crown waiting for him. Though his father was the emperor Charles V, the boy was illegitimate.

Philip II, the legitimate heir, obeyed his father's dying wishes and acknowledged Jerome, now Don John. He gave him a status and privilege only a little below that of his own son, Don Carlos. The two princes, close in age, became firm friends.

This two volume biography (presented here in a single ebook) was written by a man who invested years in studying and collecting Spanish history and literature. He gives us a detailed portrait of Don John through his youth, his military career, and his governorship of the Netherlands. In the first volume he writes extensively on the Morisco rebellion, the formation of the Holy League and the triumphant battle of Lepanto, with a chapter on the fleets of the sixteenth century. In the second, he focuses on the history of the Netherlands and Don John's struggle to maintain the authority of the crown. The appendices include a number of letters and reports in Spanish and Italian (with translations) and a detailed bibliography. The whole is rounded off with numerous illustrations, mostly contemporary.

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