De Monarchia Hispanica. Editio novissima, aucta & emendata ut praefatio ad lectorem indicat.

De Monarchia Hispanica…
De Monarchia Hispanica. Editio novissima, aucta & emendata ut praefatio ad lectorem indicat.

Amsterdam: Louis Elzevir, 1653.

24mo., engraved title, all edges gilt; in nineteenth-century full red morocco, gilt arms of Henry J.B. Clements on front cover, spine banded and gilt.

Build a wall "lest the English should break in and bring heresy."

Attractive small Elzevir edition of this utopian work by the famous Dominican friar Campanella. Chapter XXXI (pp. 274-288) is explicitly concerned with discoveries and settlements in the New World, and he recommends building forts at the mouths of all rivers and harbours "lest the English should break in and bring heresy."

Attractive small Elzevir edition of this utopian work by the famous Dominican friar Campanella. Chapter XXXI (pp. 274-288) is explicitly concerned with discoveries and settlements in the New World, and he recommends building forts at the mouths of all rivers and harbours "lest the English should break in and bring heresy."

Written in 1598 or 1599, and rewritten soon after, this work prophesies the coming of a universal Christian monarchy (said to be the fifth such great monarchy in history) by the Spanish King. Curiously, it was first published in German in 1620, translated, probably by Besold, from Campanella's original manuscript: such an involved publishing history is not unlike many books in Campanella's oeuvre, testament to his unfailing trouble with ecclesiastical authorities; orthodoxy was not his strong point. The first English edition was published soon after this Elzevir edition as A Discourse touching the Spanish Monarchy (London, 1654); an Italian edition did not appear until 1840.

Campanella's most famous work is his "City of the Sun", which was first published in 1623 but had been written during his long imprisonment by the Inquisition for sedition and heresy. The City of the Sun was a 'regimented, highly centralised, theocratic society characterized by breeding of human beings in accordance with science, subordination of individuals to the state, and absence of private property' (Gibson, St. Thomas More). It was an early and highly influential text in the development of the utopian genre, written by an author whose twenty-seven year stretch in prison seems to be a record for utopian writers. As Simon Ryan points out in The cartographic eye, although published 'long after many voyages south of the equator, Campanella's story can still utilise the easy transference from antipodes as opposite to antipodes as perverse…'.

Gibson, 'St. Thomas More... with a Bibliography of Utopiana', 650; Sabin, 10197; Willems, 1159.

Price (AUD): $3,450.00  other currencies     Ref: #3806730

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