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Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,000
Lobeira, Joâo de (c. 1233-1285) The Fifth Book of the Most Pleasant and Delectable History of Amadis de Gaule.
London: printed by T.J. [Thomas Johnson] for Andrew Kembe, 1664.
First edition, quarto, title page printed within a type ornament border; contents washed, bound in full red morocco gilt by Bedford, ex libris James P.R. Lyell (1871-1948), with his gilt-tooled morocco bookplate inside the front board, aeg., nicely preserved, some deckle edges still intact, 7 x 5 1/4 in.
The fifth book of Amadis de Gaul follows the adventures of Amadis's son Esplandián. He visits a mysterious island inhabited by griffons and fierce female warriors, and replete with riches called California. This popular tale entered the Spanish imagination to such an extent that when explorers to the Americas asked the local population about the existence of such a place, rumors indicated that it might actually be real. The rocky barren peninsula that earned the name, first believed to be an island, had neither a race of women fighters who fed their victims to griffons, nor swords made of solid gold, but we do call it California. (cf. https://amadisofgaul.blogspot.com/2009/07/california-according-to-garci-rodriguez.html)