1552] · [colophon: CaragoÃ§a [Saragossa, Zaragoza]
Gathered here in its third edition, but => only the second to survive in known copies, are seven of Castilla's wide-ranging tracts covering topics that include theory of poetry, theory of empire and government, the nature of humanity, virtue, happiness, original sin, and friendship.
The work is printed in Gothic type. The title-page is executed in black and red, has a five-element woodcut border, and contains the arms of Charles V and a small woodcut shield with the Castilla family coat of arms. The verso of the title-page bears a four-element woodcut border (the elements totally distinct from those of the recto), surrounding the list of the tracts in the volume with the Castilla coat of arms repeated.
In addition to the black and red typography of the title-page, leaves ii verso (A2), vii (A7) and viii verso (A8) are also in red and black. The text is printed in double-column format within ruled borders, contains occasional, rather interesting, woodcut initials, and is supplemented with side- and shouldernotes. The "Pratica de las virtudes de los buenos reyes Despaña en coplas de arte mayor" has a sectional title-page that in its woodcut elements duplicates the main title-page, and has its own foliation and signature sequence. The work ends with two "tablas," and the errata on the verso of the last leaf.
=> Of special note is a stanza on leaf 33 of the second part that refers to America: "Ganaron las islas que son de Canaría, Ganaron las Indías del mar occeano . . ."
Binding: 19th-century quarter brown sheep in ecclesiastical style with marbled paper sides; spine blind-embossed with elements of a church (rose window, arches, leaded glass window, etc.) and with gilt ruling and tooling. All edges marbled. => Binding by B. Miyar (with his ticket).
Provenance: 16th-century signature of Juan de la Torre in lower margin of main title-page.
Searches of NUC, WorldCat, and the Iberian Book Project locate only three copies of the 1519 edition in U.S. (Hispanic Society, Newberry, Huntington), no copies anywhere in the world of the 1546 (i.e., apparently a ghost), and only six U.S. copies of this 1552 (Hispanic Society, NYPL, Bancroft, Lilly, BPL, and UPenn).
On Castilla, see: Archivo biográfico de España, Portugal, e Iberoamérica, fiche 195, frames 158–59. Brunet, I, 1632; Graesse, II, 66 & VII, 161, note; Palau 47981; Salvá, 522; Heredia, II, 1887; Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 2921; Iberian Book Project IB 2921; Sánchez, Bibliografia aragonesa, II, 332. Not in Alden & Landis; not in Harrisse. Binding as above; spine ends rubbed. Text lightly to moderately age-browned, with scattered foxing; small chipping to fore-edges of some leaves, small piece torn from blank outer margin of title to second part, last leaf with a closed tear, repaired. => Overall a very nice copy of a scarce Spanish work of the Golden Age. (Inventory #: 38121)