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Ercilla y Zuniga, Alonso de
LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy]
LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy]
Author: Ercilla y Zuniga, Alonso de
Place of Publication: Madrid
Publisher: D. Antonio de Sancha
Publication Date: 1776

More Details

Robert Southey likely bought these volumes when he was 21, during his five-month sojourn on the Iberian Peninsula in the first half of 1796. That trip resulted in his first published prose work, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal (1797). The bookplate in volume one was added around 1813, since Thomas Bewick did not fulfill the commission from Southey until 7 August 1813, upon which it was laid into every book in Southey's personal library.

"Robert Southey's 45-book epic 'Madoc', published in 1805 after 16 years of intermittent labour and several major redrafts, has long been regarded as one of the most spectacular white elephants of English Romanticism...The poem's copious footnotes parade Southey's encyclopaedic reading in Welsh antiquarianism and the sixteenth-century Spanish chronicles...Southey's profound interest in the annals of the Iberian conquest of America (which he was reading in preparation for his monumental 'History of Brazil', published in 1810-19) might seem eccentric in comparison to the contemporaneous reading of Wordsworth or Coleridge, but less so if seen in a broader historical context. As British capital flooded into newly-independent Mexico after 1820, Southey's poem provided an imaginary template for the Anglo-Saxon financial 'reconquest' of the country's lucrative mineral resources from centuries of Spanish colonial misrule...An important instance of [David] Quint's 'epic of the defeated' which exerted a major influence on Southey's 'Madoc' was Alonso de Ercilla's 'La Araucana', originally published in Madrid in three parts in 1577, 1578, and 1590. Although Ercilla's poem was not nearly so well known in eighteenth-century Britain as Camoens' imperialist epic [The Luciades], attention was drawn to it by Whig and Radical poetic theorists such as Blake's patron William Hayley, and the American poet Joel Barlow, author of 'The Vision of Columbus'. A glance at the 'Common-Place Book' and the notes to 'Madoc' confirms that Southey owned a copy off the 1776 Madrid edition of 'La Araucana', which he turned to good account as a major source for his own American 'anti-epic'. In 1799 he composed a series of short 'Songs of the American Indians'...which included a 'Peruvian's Dirge' and an anti-colonial 'Song of the Araucans, during a Thunder Storm'. This poem exulted in the Araucana victory over the Spanish invaders...Ercilla's poem described the bloody uprising of the Araucana (Mapuche) Indians of Chile against the Spaniards in the 1550's, and the campaign to crush it led by the conquistador Don Garcia Canete, in which Ercilla the poet had himself been a combatant. In contrast to other Spanish eye-witness accounts...Ercilla's poem downplayed the imperative of Christian conversion and showed a remarkable sympathy for the Araucana Indians in their struggle against encomenderos and colonisers...Southey's 1805 'Madoc' borrowed episodes and characters from 'La Araucana', for example, the character of Lincoya was in part based on Ercilla's Lautero, his name borrowed from another Araucana character, Lincoza. The doomed love affair of Lautero and Guacolda resembles the romance between Lincoya and Coatel, and the celebrated single combat between the two Araucana chieftains Rengo and Tucapel in canto 30 seems to have inspired the battle between the Aztec warriors Ocellopan and Tlalala for the privilege of fighting Madoc on the gladiatorial stone in the fourteenth book of 'Madoc in Aztlan.'" [Robert Southey and the Contexts of English Romanticism, pages 133-136, Nigel Leask, edited by Lynda Pratt]

Octavos, Two Volumes. In Very Good condition, housed in a slipcase in Very Good condition. Bound in contemporary full vellum with gilt ruling to boards and spines. Spines bear two black leather labels apiece with gilt lettering. Housed in a brown cloth-covered slipcase with black spine label and gilt titling. Binding carefully reinforced and tightened in the 20th century, with new head and tailbands as well as new endpapers, but with almost no outward signs of repair. Both labels at tail of spines worn. Occasional light toning throughout; no marginalia. Robert Southey's name and “1796” written on the verso of the front free end paper of each volume. Contains engraved portrait, folding map of Chile, and 3 plates. Three parts in two volumes, each with their own title pages.

CONTENTS: Vol. I. (LVI, 298 pages) (Spine label almost entirely worn away; small chip to upper label. Includes additional half-title. Below Southey's name is a trimmed version of his bookplate.) – Vol. II. (413 pages) (Includes four line provenance note in pencil, stating it was bought from a bookseller in New York City, June 1871, and signed “J. W. Dodd”). Shelved in Case 0.
Item: 1347156
LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy] LA ARAUCANA. DIRIGIDA AL REY DON FELIPE NUESTRO SEÑOR. [Two Volumes] [Robert Southey's Copy]