Varia fortuna del soldado Pindaro. Lisbon, Geraldo de la Viña, ‘626’ [i.e 1626].

Small 4to, ff. [iv], 188, woodcut printer’s device on title; minute pinhole through the lower margin, repaired, one or two quires very lightly toned, but a very good copy, gently washed, bound in modern vellum gilt.

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Rare first edition of this semi-autobiographical picaresque novel, printed while the author was in exile in Lisbon following the publication of his politically controversial Historia apologética en los sucesos del reyno de Aragon (1622).

‘[Céspedes y Meneses’s] achievement was to blend courtly and picaresque elements into a genre which reacted against the more sordid situations then popular in fiction’ (Ward). Céspedes y Meneses has been described as a ‘faithful reader of Cervantes’ (Gonzales-Barrera). His work blends the idealism of the romance with the realism of the novella. Beside the general influence of Don Quixote, more specific structural connections have been found between the Soldado Pindaro and Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares (1613), which indicate not only that Céspedes y Meneses read the collection of stories, but based some episodes and some characters on three of them: El casamiento engañoso, Las dos doncellas and La señora Cornelia.

Gallardo II 1793; Palau 54195. See J. Gonzales-Barera, Soldados, doncellas y expositos: Gonzalo de Céspedes y Meneses, un fiel lector cervantino, in NRFH, 57, no. 2 (2009), pp. 761–776. OCLC locates just four copies worldwide: two in Spain (BNE and Barcelona), one in the British Library and one at the University of Alberta.

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