In the late 1400s, Arab warlords controlled the Iberian peninsula from their capital at Granada. It is fair to say that they were cruel, intolerant, rapacious, demeaning, and overbearing. While most American readers remember 1492 as the date Ferdinand and Isabella sponsored Christopher Columbus'' voyage of discovery, it was also the year the Moorish princes were finally defeated and expelled from Spain.
Washington Irving (1783-1859) is better-known for his works on American life, but his "Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada," published in 1829, stands out as one of the great English-language classics of historical narrative. William H. Prescott, an undisputed authority on the subject, wrote in Volume II of his pivotal "Ferdinand and Isabella:"
"Mr. Irving''s late publication, the Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, has superseded all further necessity for poetry and, unfortunately for me, for history. He has fully availed himself of all the picturesque and animating movement of this romantic era, and the reader who will take the trouble to compare his chronicle with the present more prosaic and literal narrative will see how little he has been seduced from historic accuracy by the poetical aspect of his subject. The fictitious and romantic dress of his work has enabled him to make it the medium of reflecting more vividly the floating opinions and chimerical fancies of the age, while he has illuminated the picture with the dramatic brilliancy of coloring denied to sober history."
This masterfully-presented eBook is a faithful presentation of the 1850 revised edition, complete with footnotes, and is fully-searchable and fully-printable. (391pp, 2.58 Mb)
I Of the Kingdom of Granada, and the Tribute which it Paid to the Castilian Crown.
II Of the Embassy of Don Juan de Vera to Demand Arrears of Tribute from the Moorish Monarch.
III Domestic Feuds in the Alhambra Rival Sultanas Predictions concerning Boabdil, the Heir to the Throne How Ferdinand Meditates War against Granada, and how he is Anticipated.
IV Expedition of the Muley Abul Hassan against the Fortress of Zahara.
V Expedition of the Marques of Cadiz against Alhama.
VI How the People of Granada were Affected on Hearing of the Capture of the Alhama; and how the Moorish King sallied forth to Regain it.
VII How the Duke of Medina Sidonia and the Chivalry of Andalusia Hastened to the Relief of Alhama.
VIII Sequel of the Events at Alhama.
IX Events at Granada, and Rise of the Moorish King, Boabdil el Chico.
X Royal Expedition against Loxa.
XI How Muley Abul Hassan made a Foray into the Lands of Medina Sidonia, and how he was Received.
XII Foray of Spanish Cavaliers among the Mountains of Malaga.
XIII Effects of the Disasters among the Mountains of Malaga.
XIV How King Boabdil el Chico Marched over the Border.
XV How the Count de Cabra sallied forth from his Castle in Quest of King Boabdil.
XVI The Battle of Lucena.
XVII Lamentations of the Moors for the Battle of Lucena.
XVIII How Muley Abul Hassan Profited by the Misfortunes of his Son Boabdil. XIX
XX Of the Treatment of Boabdil by the Castilian Sovereigns.
XXI Return of Boabdil from Captivity.
XXII Foray of the Moorish Alcaydes, and Battle of Lopera.
XXIII Retreat of Hamet el Zegri, Alcayde of Ronda.
XXIV Of the reception at Court of the Count de Cabra and the Alcayde de los Donceles.
XXV How the Marques of Cadiz concerted to Surprise Zahara, and the Result of his Enterprise.
XXVI Of the Fortress of Alhama, and how Wisely it was Governed by the Count de Tendilla.
XXVII Foray of Christian Knights into the Territory of the Moors.
XXVIII Attempt of El Zagal to Surprise Boabdil in Almeria.
XXIX How King Ferdinand Commenced another Campaign against the Moors, and how he Laid Siege to Coin and Cartama.
XXX Siege of Ronda.
XXXI How the People of Granada invited El Zagal to the Throne, and how he Marched to the Capital.
XXXII How the Count de Cabra attempted to Capture another King, and how he Fared in his Attempt.
XXXIII Expedition against the Castles of Cambil and Albahar.
XXXIV Enterprise of the Knights of Calatrava against Zalea.
XXXV Death of Muley Abul Hassan.
XXXVI Of the Christian Army which Assembled at the City of Cordova.
XXXVII How Fresh Commotions broke out in Granada, and how the People undertook to Allay them.
XXXVIII How King Ferdinand held a Council of War at the Rock of the Lovers. XXXIX
XL Conclusion of the Siege of Loxa.
XLI Capture of Illora.
XLII Of the Arrival of Queen Isabella at the Camp before Moclin; and of the Pleasant Sayings of the English Earl.
XLIII How King Ferdinand Attacked Moclin, and of the Strange Events that attended its Capture.
XLIV How King Ferdinand Foraged the Vega; and of the Battle of the Bridge of Pinos, and the Fate of the two Moorish Brothers.
XLV Attempt of El Zagal upon the Life of Boabdil, and how the Latter was Roused to Action.
XLVI How Boabdil returned Secretly to Granada, and how he was Received. - Second Embassy of Don Juan de Vera, and his Perils in the Alhambra. XLVII
XLVIII How King Ferdinand and his Army were Exposed to Imminent Peril before Velez Malaga.
XLIX Result of the Stratagem of El Zagal to Surprise King Ferdinand.
L How the People of Granada Rewarded the Valor of El Zagal.
LI Surrender of the Velez Malaga and Other Places.
LII Of the City of Malaga and its Inhabitants. Mission of Hernando del Pulgar.
LIII Advance of King Ferdinand against Malaga.
LIV Siege of Malaga.
LV Siege of Malaga continued. Obstinacy of Hamet el Zegri.
LVI Attack of the Marques of Cadiz upon Gibralfaro.
LVII Siege of Malaga continued. - Stratagems of Various Kinds.
LVIII Sufferings of the People of Malaga.
LIX How a Moorish Santon Undertook to Deliver the City of Malaga from the Power of its Enemies.
LX How Hamet el Zegri was Hardened in his Obstinacy by the Arts of a Moorish Astrologer.
LXI Siege of Malaga continued. - Destruction of a Tower by Francisco Ramirez de Madrid.
LXII How the People of Malaga expostulated with Hamet el Zegri.
LXIII How Hamet el Zegri Sallied forth with the Sacred Banner to Attack the Christian Camp.
LXIV How the City of Malaga Capitulated.
LXV Fulfilment of the Prophecy of the Dervise. - Fate of Hamet el Zegri.
LXVI How the Castilian Sovereigns took Possession of the City of Malaga, and how King Ferdinand signalized himself by his Skill in Bargaining with the Inhabitants for their Ransom.
LXVII How King Ferdinand prepared to Carry the War into a Different Part of the Territories of the Moors.
LXVIII How King Ferdinand Invaded the Eastern Side of the Kingdom of Granada, and how He was Received by El Zagal.
LXIX How the Moors made Various Enterprises against the Christians.
LXX How King Ferdinand prepared to Besiege the City of Baza, and how the City prepared for Defence.
LXXI The Battle of the Gardens before Baza.
LXXII Siege of Baza. Embarrassments of the Army.
LXXIII Siege of Baza continued. How King Ferdinand completely Invested the City.
LXXIV Exploit of Hernan Perez del Pulgar and Other Cavaliers.
LXXV Continuation of the Siege of Baza.
LXXVI How Two Friars from the Holy Land arrived at the Cam