1630 The Rogue: Or, The Life of Guzman de Alfarache. Oxford, William Turner.

$799.99

An early (1630) English edition of, The Rogue: or, The Life of Guzman de Alfarache, by Matheo Aleman.

This work was very popular at the turn of the 17th century; the first part was first printed in Spanish in 1599, with a second part and many editions and translations following. It is an example of Picaresque novel, with a rogue hero, from a lower class of people, who survives the corruption and hard world around them through great wit. Aleman also included moral commentary, the sincerity of which has been discussed for centuries.

This is a great reading example, in folio (a larger size), with both parts (1 & 2), and translated to English. It wears wonderfully some signs of aging, but still opens and reads nicely. It has the feel of a book you might pull down from the shelves in a large historic English home.

A 1966 Holland Bros. Catalog claimed this book was Charles Cotton's copy. I have doubts because I have a Charles Cotton book, and he (and his daughter) wrote their name on the title page, and also the British Library claims they have Cotton's copy of this work, with his signature on the title page. I don't think this is Cotton's copy... but I might be wrong.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 29 x 19 x 5 cm, folio. Old calf (see condition notes below). Five raised bands to spine with "Life of Guzman" in gilt, on red Moroccan in one compartment. Double blind fillet around boards. Pages - (1), [36], 267, [16], 357, (1). *6, A6, A6 to Z6, aa1-2, *8, Zz6, Ggg6

Condition -

See pictures. 1966 advertisement stated, "Headband worn away & front joint cracked"; since then the headband has been repaired and a Japanese tissue, toned, has been applied to the front joint. Edge wear and rubbing to binding, but despite repairs and age it looks unassumingly handsome. 3 cm start of crack at rear joint, bottom. Several pencil notes on later pastedown inside the front board. Hinges are lifted at front and rear.

1966 advertisement posted to FEP. Tear bottom corner (marginal only) of title page. Soiling to title page. Thumbing, occasional spots, occasional underlining, occasional eraser head sized ember hole, some toning, occasional (coffee?) drop spot mark, occasional dog ear, and occasional dust on page. Ink spot on page 31. Tear top corner of 131, no text affected. Marginal notes on p. 161, ink spill on 205; several lines affected, a star drawn in the margin of 215, spots on 278-279.

Although there are signs of use through the centuries, it remains entirely readable and handsome.

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