THE FIRST ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES IN SPANISH, AND THE HIGH-WATER-MARK OF THE SHORT STORY IN THE 17TH CENTURY NOVELAS EXEMPLARES.
CERVANTES, Miguel de Saavedra
Small 4to. A very fine copy in contemporary white morocco, with arms on side.
« The Novelas Exemplares », twelve in number, are masterpieces which it has become a commonplace to say would have established Cervantes » lasting fame as a writer of fiction, even if he has never produced Don Quixote. Indeed they represent the high-water-mark of the short story of the Seventeenth Century, for as Cervant es overtops the earliest novelistas, so he remains superior to those who followed him. Not one of his successors reached the same level of attainment, none articulates his stories so well or writes with the same mastery of style, not one approaches him as a psychologist or observer; none compare with him in his power to depict life truly and to create character. It is doubtful whether the whole body of short stories after the “Novelas exemplars” could yield a group of characters so living and so highly individualized.”
The twelves novels are:
I. La Gitanilla.
II. El Amante liberal.
III. Rinconete, y Cortadillo.
IV. La Española Inglessa.
V. El Licenciado Vidriera.
VI. La fuerça de la sangre.
VII. El zeloso Estremeño.
VIII. La illustre fregona.
IX. Las dos donzellas.
X. La Señora Cornelia.
XI. El casamiento engañoso
XII. La de los perros Cipiò, y Bergàça.
The success of the « Novelas » was immediate and lasting; twelve editions were made within ten years of their first appearance, and twelve more had been issued by 1665. They were translated into French as early as 1615 and into Italian in 1626. Six of them were rendered into English in 1640.
This copy was bound for Jerome de Bignon (1627-1697), “Grand Maître de la Bibliothèque du Roi” his arms on the side
-Jerôme de Bignon (1627-1697), “Grand Maître de la Bibliothèque du Roi”, Paris
-Jorge Ortiz-Linarès (1894-1965), Paris, bought from Maggs Bros, London, 21st December 1936 -George Ortiz (1927-2013)
We do not have the photo of the binding but the Bignon’ arms are on the side on a contemporary white morocco.
Luan de la Cuesta