La historia de los mui nobles, y valientes caballeros, oliveros de Castilla, y artus de algarve

FLORESTA Pedro de la (c.1700?])


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8vo (144 x 92mm). [4], 225, [11]pp. Nineteenth-century half-vellum over marbled boards, spine gilt with two contrasting labels with title and place of publication, red edges (joints split, minor wear to extremities). 

Madrid, [n.p., n.d. but 

A rare, eighteenth-century Spanish printing of the chivalric romance of Oliver of Castile. First printed in Geneva in 1482, in French (Olivier de Castile et de Artus Delgarbe) after circulating in manuscript, the tale is generally attributed either to Burgundian writer and historian Philippe Camus (d.1473), or, in later, sixteenth-century editions remains anonymous. The present edition and other, eighteenth-century Spanish printings attribute the work to Pedro de la Floresta, 'referring probably to Pedro de Florencia, a medieval Italian author of the Florentine School' (Nugent, 'Philippe Camus', pp.604-5; Pedro y Salva II, 1644). The present edition is listed in Brunet but otherwise unrecorded, and we have found no institutional copies; a Madrid imprint of 1735 (by Pedro Joseph Alonso y Padilla) has slight variations to the title.

The romance, spread across seventy six short chapters, is set in Spain after the death of Charlemagne and follows Oliver of Castile and his half-brother Arthur. After receiving unwanted advances from his step-mother, Arthur's mother, Oliver flees and is shipwrecked in England where, through a series of trials and tribulations, Oliver demonstrates his skill as a horse- and swordsman, his honour, chivalry and piety, to win the hand of the King of England's daughter, be reunited with his brother, and assume the throne of Castile. 

Provenance: Armorial exlibris of Charles Lawrence with motto 'in cruce salus', likely Rev. Charles Lawrence (1828-1905), of Lisreaghan, Co. Galway. 

Ref: E.M. Nugent, 'Philippe Camus', in Nugent ed., The Thought & Culture of the English Renaissance (Dordrecht, Springer, 1969), pp. 604-605. 

Brunet IV, 183. Not in Pedro y Salva, Catalogo de la biblioteca de Salva II, 1644..

Stock Code: 247380

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