Five Rare Books for Collectors: Spain


The Chronicle of the Cid

Highlights from Buddenbrooks' latest catalogue Spain: Historic, Literary, & Scenic include:

* The Chronicle of the Cid, translated by Robert Southey, illustrated and signed by René Ben Sussan (Haarlem, Netherlands: Joh. Enschedé en Zonen, 1958) with an introduction by V S Pritchett. First edition. The most important of early Spanish poems, this is a combined translation of Chronica del Famoso Cavallero Cid Ruy-Diez Capmeador, published in Burgos in 1593, Las quatro partes enteras de la Cronica de España, Valladolid, 1604, Poema del Cid, and to a lesser extent the popular ballads of the Cid, which were published in various collections in the 16th and 17th centuries. Southey provides an interesting historical introduction as well.

* Spain by The Baron Ch. D’Avillier, translated by J. Thomson (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low and Searle, 1876), illustrated by Gustave Doré throughout. First edition. A superb, beautifully preserved copy of this majestic book, one of the scarcest of Doré's magnificent illustrated books. It is vastly decorated with over 230 of his impressive engravings. While many such books of the period would have been content with only providing views of landscapes, scenery and landmarks, Doré also provides us with vivid glimpses into the life, work and recreation of the people. Of special note are views of the Alhambra, flamingo hunting, bull fighting, musicians, dancers and beggars. Doré and D’Avillier toured Spain extensively together for the express purpose of producing this book.

* The History of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, translated by F.A. Motteux (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1908). A beautiful set of Cervantes and a very scarce edition edited by J.G. Lockhart who also wrote the included essay on the Life of Cervantes. Motteux’s translation is one of the most famous of the period, and here, the book is presented in lovely style. There is a fine ‘Life of Cervantes’ preceding the text
and in addition, important and very copious notes on the text are appended.

* The Alhambra by 'Geoffrey Crayon', (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1832) 2 volumes. First edition, the UK issue, the true first issue printed prior to the American issue. While serving as a diplomatic attaché to Spain, Washington Irving had access to the fabulous library of Obadiah Rich and engaged in scholarly research. This detailed description of the Alhambra, and account of the legends surrounding the famous monument, was one of the fruits of this research. The flavor of Irving’s writing is scrumptious in a manner quite fitting to the Moorish landmark. Published under the Crayon pseudonym.

* Northern Spain by Edgar T.A. Wigram (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1906) First Edition. With 75 very fine and beautiful colourplates from the paintings of Edgar Wigram in Black's fine series of travel books. In this work the author/artist takes us on a tour through the North Coast, Leon, Galicia, Toro, Salamanca, Toledo, Segovia Burgos and across Navarre. Sir Edgar Thomas Ainger Wigram’s text continued to be widely popular even in some later editions that did not include his wonderful paintings.