Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada

Designer: Alice Cordelia Morse (American, Ohio 1863–1961)

Author: Washington Irving (American, New York 1783–1859 Sleepy Hollow, New York)

Publisher: Putnam (New York, NY)

Date: 1893

Medium: Cream cloth covered boards with gold decoration

Dimensions: Overall: 8 7/8 x 14 3/16 in. (22.6 x 36 cm)
Front cover: 8 7/8 x 5 7/8 in. (22.6 x 15 cm)
Front cover and spine: 8 7/8 x 8 1/4 in. (22.6 x 21 cm)

Classification: Bindings

Credit Line: Gift of Alice C. Morse, 1923, Transferred from the Library, 1956

Accession Number: 56.522.55


A leading New York late nineteenth century book-cover designer, Morse studied at the Woman’s Art School of the Cooper Union, then under John La Farge before working for Louis C. Tiffany as a painter and designer of stained glass. In 1887 she began to concentrate on book-covers, fufilling eighty-three commissions for New York commercial publishers by 1905. To complement the text of The Conquest of Granada, Morse used a mixture of Arts and Crafts, Arabic, Moorish, and Persian ornament. The cover is bound in white plain-weave cloth, stamped in green, pink, and gold. This book and its companion publication, "The Alhambra," also written by Washington Irving, are two of the most elaborately produced gift books designed by Morse. An example of this cover was shown at the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, in 1893.