ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (ALONSO DE) Primera y segunda parte de la Araucana, 2 parts in 1 vol., FIRST EDITION TO INCLUDE PART 2, Madrid, Pierre Cosin, 1578
Lot 144
ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (ALONSO DE)
Primera y segunda parte de la Araucana, 2 parts in 1 vol., FIRST EDITION TO INCLUDE PART 2, Madrid, Pierre Cosin, 1578
Sold for £23,750 (US$ 31,317) inc. premium

Lot Details
ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (ALONSO DE) Primera y segunda parte de la Araucana, 2 parts in 1 vol., FIRST EDITION TO INCLUDE PART 2, Madrid, Pierre Cosin, 1578 ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (ALONSO DE) Primera y segunda parte de la Araucana, 2 parts in 1 vol., FIRST EDITION TO INCLUDE PART 2, Madrid, Pierre Cosin, 1578 ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (ALONSO DE) Primera y segunda parte de la Araucana, 2 parts in 1 vol., FIRST EDITION TO INCLUDE PART 2, Madrid, Pierre Cosin, 1578
ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (ALONSO DE)
Primera y segunda parte de la Araucana, 2 parts in 1 vol., FIRST EDITION TO INCLUDE PART 2, full-page woodcut portrait of Ercilla, woodcut printer's device on title to Part 2, woodcut head- and tail-pieces, 4pp. errata at end, some soiling and staining, some worming in and towards lower margins with occasional loss of text, title with small marginal repair and some dampstaining, contemporary vellum, titled in ink on spine, recased, new endpapers [Palau 80413; cf. Sabin 22720, 4to edition], 8vo (145 x 90mm.), Madrid, Pierre Cosin, 1578

Footnotes

  • EXTREMELY RARE EDITION OF LA ARAUCANA, 'THE BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE' OF CHILE AND THE FIRST MAJOR WORK OF LATIN-AMERICAN LITERATURE. The first part of the poem was published in 1569, but this is the first appearance of the second part. No copies are recorded as having sold at auction in the last 25 years, and complete copies are especially scarce. The present copy ends with 4 pages of errata dated 1 August 1578, which we have not traced in other copies, and is the octavo edition with continuous pagination ([32], 1-729, [5], [4]), as opposed to the quarto edition which has separate pagination for each part.

    Written by the man described by Neruda as 'the inventor and liberator of Chile', La Araucana is the most celebrated Spanish epic poem of the Golden Age. It was based on the personal experiences of Ercilla, who joined a military expedition to the New World in 1555. Although his education had been principally literary, he distinguished himself as a soldier in Chile during the wars against the Araucanian Indians. Much of the poem was written while on the field of battle and during breaks in the action on whatever the author had to hand, including pieces of leather, some too small to contain more than six lines of poetry. He finished the poem after he returned to Spain in 1563 at the end of the campaign.

    "The work of Ercilla, famous among Spanish men of letters from its first appearance, holds a lofty national interest for us... The Araucana sings of our land, it exalts the valor of its sons and the faithfulness of its women... For this reason, if the Araucana is a literary monument of the Spanish language, it ought to be for the Chileans a beloved national book as well: it is the baptismal certificate of our country" (Abraham König, La Araucana de Don Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, Santiago de Chile, Cervantes, 1888, p.viii).

    Provenance: ?Valerin Fortuno de Agreda, and other indistinct early ownership inscriptions on title.
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