8vo, ff. [viii], 207, ; woodcut device to title, initials; lightly toned, paper flaw to centre of f. 181 touching some words, small losses to blank lower margins of last 6 leaves, a few small holes in blank margins of final leaf, otherwise very good; contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, ink lettered spine; short tear to spine, upper part of yapp edge to rear cover slightly burnt, a little worn and marked; name inked to title, a few early neat marginal annotations.
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Primera parte de la vida del Picaro Guzman de Alfarache ...
Rare early edition of the prototype of the picaresque novel, Guzman de Alfarache. The novel prepared the way for the acceptance of Cervantes’ Don Quixote by the literary public of Europe; and, like Don Quixote, it quickly inspired a sequel. The original part I first appeared in 1599; Lujan de Sayavedra’s fraudulent sequel in 1602; and Aleman’s own retaliatory sequel in 1604.
Aleman is said to have gone through adventures similar to those described in his novel. While in jail for embezzlement, allegedly committed when an accountant of the Royal treasury, he is said to have met Cervantes who had been imprisoned for debt. In spite of the tremendous popularity of his book he was always a poor man. He emigrated to Mexico where he published a Spanish orthography in 1609.
Palau 6691. COPAC locates only the Cambridge copy; Worldcat records only two copies in the US (New York Public Library, University of Illinois).
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‘WHAT IS THERE LIKE TRAVELLING?’ BECKETT, Ernest William, 2nd Baron Grimthorpe.
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An intriguing set of travel diaries kept by Ernest Bennett (1856-1917), banker, Conservative politician, dilettante and philanderer, lover of Alice Keppel (long-time mistress of Edward VII) and rumoured father of Violet Trefusis. Schooled at Eton, Beckett briefly attended Trinity College, Cambridge, but left during his first year in order to travel.
UNIFORMLY-BOUND SET OF THE FIRST DUTCH EDITIONS OF NIEBUHR’S TWO GREAT WORKS ON ARABIA NIEBUHR, Carsten.
Beschryving van Arabie, uit eigene waarnemingen en in ’t land zelf verzamelde narigten. Opgesteld door … Niebuhr. Uit het hoogduits vertaald, en vermeerderd met een volledig register van ’t geheele werk. Amsterdam and Utrecht: Johan Joseph Besseling for S.J. Baalde and J. van Schoonhoven & Comp., 1774. 4to (256 x 208mm), pp. [2 (blank l.)], [6 (half-title, verso blank, title, verso blank, dedication)], XXXXI, [1 (instructions to the binder)], 408, [12 (index)], [2 (errata, imprint)]; printed in Roman, Arabic, and Hebrew types; engraved title with allegorical vignette by N. van den Meer jr, 16 engraved plates by van den Meer, Carel Jacob de Huyser, et al., one folding, 7 engraved maps and plans by de Huyser, Th. Koning, et al., 5 folding and one hand-coloured in outline, 2 hand-coloured folding facsimiles, and one folding letterpress genealogical table, type-ornament headbands, woodcut tailpieces and initials; a few light spots and marks, one plate with small area of early colour, some creasing on folding plates and maps, one folding plate with short tear. First Dutch edition. Tiele 795.
2 works in 3 volumes, uniformly bound in contemporary Dutch mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, one with traces of lettering-pieces, one in second work numbered directly in gilt. others with central gilt fleurons enclosed by floral sprays, all edges speckled red; endpapers of second work replaced, a little rubbed and bumped, shaken, causing one map to detach and some quires to loosen, old repairs at spine-ends, lacking lettering-pieces, nonetheless a very crisp copy; provenance: occasional early annotations or corrections throughout – early reading notes in Dutch and Arabic on rear flyleaves, endpapers, and ll. tipped onto stubs of excised final [?blank] ll. in the first work and first vol. of the second work.