Item #4205 Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor. Gaspar GIL POLO, c. 1540?-c. 1584.
Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor.
Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor.
Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor.
Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor.
Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor.
Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor.
Mysterious first illustrated edition of a precursor to the novel

Primera Patrte [sic] de Diana Enamorada. Cinco libros que prossiguen, los siete de la Diana de Iorge Monte Mayor. [Zaragoza? widow of Bartolomé de Nájera?], “Impresso con licencia,”, 1566.

Small 8vo (138 x 87 mm). [4], “140” [i.e., 136] leaves. Roman types, typographic fleurons. Six woodcut illustrations including portrait on title, printed from four blocks; one large woodcut and several smaller initials. Scattered browning. Contemporary unlined parchment, five thong sewing supports, remains of two fore-edge ties, spine liners from a 15th-century manuscript on vellum; covers stained, small hole to backstrip at upper joint, flyleaves a bit frayed and soiled. Provenance: “Bibliothèque du Miral.,” 18th- or early 19th-century inscription on flyleaf; with Libreria Bardón, Catalogue 185 (2006), sold to: Kenneth Rapoport, bookplate and purchase notes on loosely inserted bookseller’s description. ***

Second edition, and the first illustrated, of a continuation of the earliest and most popular Spanish pastoral romance. This anonymously printed edition, recorded in one or two other copies and virtually unknown, reprints the licencia of the Inquisition from the first edition (Valencia: Ioan Mey 1564), but it does not include the 1564 edition’s 4-page royal privilege or author’s letter to the readers, also 4 pages. Quickly printed, its errors include a misspelling in the title, foliation errors, and erroneous running heads (many of the headlines in Book Two are incorrectly printed Libro Primero).

The book was conceived as a sequel to Jorge de Montemayor’s Siete libros de la Diana, first printed ca. 1559, also by Juan Mey of Valencia. An instant bestseller, Montemayor’s Diana launched the mode in Spain for idyllic romances between shepherds and shepherdesses. Hugely popular both in Spain and abroad, it influenced Shakespeare, who is thought to have borrowed a sub-plot featuring cross-dressing for the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Philip Sydney.

Gil Polo’s Diana Enamorada was one of two different sequels to Montemayor's text, both appearing in 1564 (the other was Alonso Pérez's La Segunda Parte de la Diana). These writers swooped in to rescue the melancholy and unresolved ending of Montemayor’s book (he had promised a sequel but died before writing it). Gil Polo gave the couples a happy ending, and his Diana in love became hugely popular in her own right. It was “perhaps the most successful continuation ever written by another hand. Cervantes, punning on the writer's name, recommended that `the Diana enamorada should be guarded as carefully as though it were by Apollo himself’ [Don Quixote part 1, Chapter 6]; the hyperbole is not wholly, nor even mainly, ironical. The book is one of the most agreeable of Spanish pastorals; interesting in incident, written in fluent prose, and embellished with melodious poems, it was constantly reprinted, was imitated by Cervantes in the Canto de Caliope, and was translated into English, French, German and Latin” (1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Unlike the other early editions (Valencia 1564, Antwerp 1567 and 1574, and Zaragoza 1577) this edition is illustrated, with an author portrait and three astrological woodcuts, heading Books 3-5 (one repeated, as is the portrait). One cut appropriately shows Artemis / Diana, but the others, of Mercury and Jupiter, seem unrelated to the text. The blocks or copies of them clearly circulated in Spain. A closely similar Jupiter woodcut appeared on the titles of Juan de Mena, Co[m]pilacion de todas las obras, Toledo: Fernando de Sancta Catalina, 1547 and 1548 (IB 12816 and 12817). All three woodblocks were used in 1585 in an edition of Tornamira, Chronographia y Repertorio de los tiempos, Pamplona: Tomás Porralis, 1585 (IB 18503). A more likely indicator of the place of printing is the ornamental printing material. The woodcut capitals point to Zaragoza: the large opening T and the D appeared in a 1549 edition from the Zaragoza press of Bartolomé de Nájera (Domingo del Pico, Prima pars trilogii de ordinaria conversione peccatoris, IB 14810), and another initial, an L, appeared in a 1565 book from the same press, under his widow’s imprint (Juan Tomás Porcell, Informacion y curacion de la peste de Caragoca, IB 15093).  It is possible therefore, if far from proven, that this edition was printed at the same Zaragoza press.

Iberian Books lists one copy of this edition, in the Jagiellonian Library in Cracow (but not in their online catalogue); and Palau knew of a copy in the Cervantes collection of Amelia Marty de Firpo, of Montevideo, Uruguay. All early editions are rare: I locate 3 copies in total in American libraries: the Hispanic Society holds a copy of the 1564 edition, and Berkeley and Univ. of Arizona each have a copy of the Zaragoza 1577 edition.

IB 9498; USTC 352662; Palau 102074. Not in CCPB or OCLC. Cf. Muir, The Sources of Shakespeare’s Plays (2005),17-18. Our thanks to Sandy Wilkinson for his help in tracing the woodcut ornaments.

Item #4205

Price: $8,500.00