Two vols, 8vo, I: pp. viii, 139, [5 (publisher’s catalogue)], with engraved frontispiece by G. Zuliani, II: vi, , 118, ; engraved printer’s device to both titles; some very light waterstaining to a few quires, the odd inconsequential spot but a very good copy, uncut; in contemporary paste-paper boards covered with decorative colour floral block-printed paper; edges worn, some portions of paper cover to spine worn off; lower band of sides and spine in vol. I with a gauche black band containing a cartouche with the printed place name ‘Parma’ and the manuscript ownership inscription ‘Di Luigi’; inscription repeated on the front board of vol. II; further contemporary library shelfmark in the same ink to front paste-down and the remark ‘Letto e’ bello’ (‘I have read it: it’s beautiful’); housed in a custom-made cloth box.
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L’Americana ramminga cioè Memorie di donna Jnnez di Quebrada scritte da lei stessa, ed ora pubblicate da M.G. Di S. sua confidente amica.
First edition, rare, of ‘the first Italian novel with a pan-American outlook’ (M. Catucci, trans.).
L’Americana ramminga unfolds the adventures and the encounters – in turn piratesque and amorous, always surprising - of a daring and eccentric young American lady, Doña Innez, who, having been abducted from her native Chile, and having been tossed from event to event through several American locations, is finally reunited with her husband in Boston, New England. The purported author of the tale is presented as a close female friend of the protagonist.
This work has been persistently, and plausibly, seen the rest of his output, attributed to Pietro Chiari since Melzi’s recension. ‘Pietro Chiari, the incurable scribbler, could not resist the charm of the New World, as seen in his three novels with an American theme … The protagonists are American heroines who, following Prévost and Defoe’s models, relate their adventurous and involved vicissitudes in the first person. Among Chiari’s American cultural sources … are Lafitau’s works, and Burke’s Account of the European Settlements in America… These readings, and probably others as well, gave this prolific writer the idea to develop a comparison between the two worlds, and to stress the inadequacies of contemporary life while assessing the qualities of primitive life’ (S. Buccini, p. 63). However recent scholarship has begun to doubt the attribution and to re-appraise the work. An eloquent indicator of Chiari not being the author is to be found in the publisher Pasinelli’s catalogue appended to several of his publications, in which L’Americana Ramminga is listed not as Chiari’s but as one of a group of ‘Works by other authors’.
OCLC shows four US holdings (Bryn Mawr, Harvard, Newberry, and Princeton).
Sabin 67064. See Catucci, ‘L’americana raminga’ in Sincronie 16, (2004), and Buccini, Americas in Italian Literature and Culture, 1700-1825 (2010).
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