Delle memorie storiche di Sabbioneta libri IV.
Casalmaggiore, Fratelli Bizzari 1849.
8vo. 713 + (3)pp. Original printed wrappers. No ownership inscription, but John Bury’s copy.
A very substantial history of Sabbioneta, the town in Lombardy laid out on a new site beside the river Po from the 1550s onwards on the instructions of its ruler, Vespasiano Gonzaga (1531-1591), which is one of the most perfect examples of sixteenth century urban planning. The author of the present book, Antonio Racheli, was an assiduous researcher, keen to record every detail of the area’s history from Roman times onwards, and it is not until Book IV, Chapter II, that he gets round to the building of the town in its present form (which he discusses further in Book IV, Chapters IV and V). As there are no illustrations, this is not really a book for architectural historians, but it is helpful for understanding the background to Vespasiano Gonzaga’s career and cultural ambitions.