8vo, ff. , 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 ff., 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’s Don Quixote by the literary public of Europe; and, like Don Quixote, it quickly inspired a sequel. The original part I 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, and he subsequently emigrated to Mexico where he published a Spanish orthography in 1609.
Palau 6691. Library Hub (Copac) locates only the Cambridge copy; OCLC records only two copies in the US (NYPL and Illinois).
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