Madrid: D. Antonio de Sancha, 1776. Octavos, 2 volumes; VG; bound in contemporary full vellum with gilt border, two black labels to each spine, lettering in gilt, both labels at tail of spine worn, volume one labelalmost entirely gone, small chip to upper label on volume one; binding carefully reinforced in the 20th century, with new head and tailbands and new endpapers added, binding tightened, almost no outward signs of repair; housed in a brown cloth-covered slipcase, black label with gilt titling;
With engraved portrait, folding map of Chile, and 3 plates; occasional light toning throughout; three parts in two volumes, each with their own title pages, part one with an additional half-title; no marginalia;
With Robert Southey's name and 1796 written on the verso of the ffep of each volume; volume one below Southey's name has a trimmed version of his bookplate. The bookplate 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; volume two with four line pencil provenance, stating it was bought from a bookseller in New York City, June 1871, and signed J. W. Dodd.;
shelved case 0.
Shelved Dupont Bookstore
Robert Southey would have bought these when he was 21, during his five-month sojourn on the Iberian Peninsula during 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).
"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]