Charles Albert of Savoy was a cultured man who grew up between Paris and Genève in a liberal environment, influenced by the social and political movements that crossed Europe in the XIX century.
When he became King, he chose as his favorite residence Racconigi Castle. While he expanded it through his beloved neo-gothic style, he asked Pelagio Palagi to design a little wooden library, a mahogany one; Gabriele Capello’s skilled hands built it later. In this room, Charles Albert started to gather his books, organizing them according to their different subjects: A – 7 Dictionaries – Encyclopedias; G – 10 Piedmont – Dialect; F – 1 Foreign princes; E – 1 Italian and foreign theatre.
There are more than 5000 books in the library and not all of them belonged to Charles Albert: many are his successors’, who kept nourishing this little cultural center. Others come from other royal residences (such as Monza Real Palace).
Many books are in French, the Savoy family language. 589 books are labeled as Ex Bibliotheca Regis Karoli Alberti, or as Ex libris Bibliotheca regis Karoli Alberti. The most ancient volumes with this label belong to the series Histoire de Grece traduite de l’Anglois of 1703; the most recent one is Museo scientifico, letterario ed artistico ovvero scelta raccolta di utili e svariate nozioni in fatto di scienze, lettere ed arti belle of 1845, where Charles Albert himself is mentioned, because “he ministers with excellent care to the prosperity of those talented who emerge in every fine discipline”.
However, Charles Albert is also a writer. He writes the Contes Moraux pour l’enfance, moral tales dedicated to children education. We also know about his thoughts and his letters, published by Francesco Salata: Carlo Alberto Inedito. Il diario autografo del re, lettere intime ed altri scritti inediti, Il diario autografo del Re Carlo Alberto. Frammenti Inediti, Memoriali. Those are books where the great conflicts of a King appear, his love for traveling, his great curiosity to get to know his land.
Explore the catalogue and search for other interesting episodes throughout the digitalized books!