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Sale 2486 Lot 436
THE FIRST NOVEL SET IN SPANISH AMERICA (LITERATURE.) Loubayssin de Lamarca, Francisco. Historia tragicomica de Don Henrique de Castro. Portrait plate, engraved title page. , 879,  pages. 8vo, contemporary vellum, fore-edges of both boards worn, otherwise minor wear; part of front free endpaper torn away, title page slightly cropped, minor foxing; edges speckled red; early owner's inscription and notes on front endpapers, later Ricardo Heredia bookplate on front pastedown. Paris: [Adrian Tiffain] for the widow of Matias Guillemot, 1617
Estimate $15,000 - 25,000
the probable first edition. A novel set largely in 16th-century Chile, recounting the 1553 Battle of Tucapel, Araucanian sacrifice practices, visits to Mexico and Peru, and a circumnavigation of the globe with Magellan. It is generally regarded as the first novel to make the Spanish New World its primary setting. "El primer autor de una novela cuyo asunto central es americano"--Castillo-Sánchez, "Influencias celestinescas en La historia tragicómica de don Henrique de Castro," in Actas del XIII Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, 1998, page 435.
We feel confident that this 1617 edition is the first appearance of the novel. Gallardo's 1888 bibliography "Ensayo de una biblioteca española de libros raros y curiosos" (III:2821) gives the publication date as 1612, with all other information being the same. Apparently he misread the date, leaving a "V" out of the Roman numeral. Nine years later, Medina had an entry for a 1612 edition, but cited only Gallardo and no library copies, and his main entry was under 1617. European Imprints follows Medina with a 1612 entry citing no copies, nor does OCLC show any. Other than Gallardo's entry, we find no evidence for the existence of a 1612 edition. European Americana 617/79; Medina, Biblioteca Hispano-Chilena 42; Palau 142662. Provenance: collection of notable Spanish bibliophile Ricardo Heredia (1831-1896); Paul-Huard-Guillemin's Heredia sale, 26 April 1894, lot 6059. We trace no other copies of any edition at auction.