AUCTION 23

 
 

A Spirited Prosecution of the French Intervention in Mexico by a Liberal Spanish Journalist & Historian

Beautiful Lithograph Portraits & City Views of Mexico

 
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500. PRUNEDA, Pedro [Martín]. Historia de la guerra de Méjico, desde 1861 á 1867, con todos los documentos diplomáticos justificativos, precedida de una introduccion que comprende la descripcion topográfica del territorio, la reseña de los acontecimientos ocurridos desde que Méjico se constituyó en República Federativa en 1823, hasta la guerra entre Miramon y Juarez, y acompañada de 25 á 30 láminas lithografiadas, representando retratos de los principales personajes y vistas de las ciudades mas populosas por Pedro Pruneda. Madrid: Editores, Elizalde y Compañía [printer’s slug on title verso: Imprenta de los Sres. Rojas, Valverde, 16, bajo izquierda], 1867. [i-iii] iv-xi [1, blank], [1] 2-396, 393-462, [2, Plantilla para el colocacion de las Laminas] pp. (lacks pp. 277-284) (text printed in double columns), 31 lithograph plates (portraits and the most populous Mexican cities), some on tinted grounds, including lithograph and half title, by González, Donan, et al., plus double-page lithograph map (see below). Folio (34.7 x 24.8  cm), modern olive green morocco over marbled boards, spine with raised bands (lower wrap bound in). Occasional marginal chipping and browning, unopened, as issued, plates fine (except the portrait of Maximilian is lightly stained at edge, just touching image). Map neatly rejoined, else fine.

Map

Mapa de la Campaña de Mejico;[upper right above neat line] Elizalde y Compa. (Editores); [below neat line] Lit. de J. Donan, Madrid; [inset map at upper right] Mapa de la divisoria pólitica de Mejico; [scale and key at lower left]. Lithograph uncolored map, neat line to neat line: 29 x 43 cm; overall sheet size: 33.6 x 46.5 cm.

     First edition, originally issued in parts. Palau 239945. The author was a liberal Spanish journalist and gives a good, thoughtful history on the last attempt of a European power to conquer Mexico. Some of the superb plates appear to be after Nebel, Phillips, and others. Includes portraits of Santa-Anna, Almonte, and views, such as Matamoros, the latter after Phillips. The city views are quite nice and large format.

     In his article on this book and the author, Miguel Leon-Portillo (“El Historiador Pedro Pruneda y su olvidada obra sobra La Guerra de Intervención” in Estudios de Historia Moderna y Contemporánea de México, México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Vol. 2, 1967, pp. 139-145) describes the work as (in translation) “in stark contrast to the views that issued in Europe following the death of Maximilian of Mexico and even in some circles of the United States” and notes that the author takes a slap at “decadent European monarchies.” Leon-Portillo also notes that the author had a short but fruitful political career, and describes the importance of the present work:

¿En qué está la importancia de este libro? Por una parte hay en él información copiosa, incluida con un criterio casi periodístico, la raíz misma de los hechos que en México se están desarrollando. Porque si Maximiliano fue ejecutado en Querétaro el 19 de junio de 1867, en la obra de Pruneda, publicada pocos meses después por Elizalde y Compañía de Madrid, se habla ya de esto y de otros acontecimientos que siguieron a la muerte del poco afortunado Habsburgo. La primera y segunda parte de su obra, a las que dedica setenta y una páginas presentan una especie de resumen de la historia de México, desde su pasado indígena hasta la guerra de Independencia y los primeros cuarenta años de vida nacional o sea hasta 1861. El resto del libro, casi cuatrocientas páginas más, constituyen lo que llamaremos un enjuiciamiento de la guerra de Intervención. Pruneda se vale de todas las fuentes a su alcance como lo muestran los apéndices a su obra, en los que incluye documentos tan importantes como el manifiesto del Congreso de México contra la intervención francesa, partes oficiales de acciones de guerra tanto de los conservadores como de los liberales, circulares de don Benito Juárez, despachos diplomáticos, notas cablegráficas y aun noticias y apreciaciones obtenidas directamente de viajeros e informantes.

     Pruneda (1830-1869), politician, journalist, and historian was born in Villa de Pollo in Teruel, Spain, and by age twenty was a teacher in literature, history, mathematics, and French. He subsequently worked as a clerk in the Ministry of the Interior in Madrid, but because of his liberal political views returned to his birthplace where he helped his family publish a newspaper. Soon he was back in Madrid where he wrote for periodicals, such as El Pueblo, La Discusión, and La Democracia. Between 1866-1868, he is associated with the fall of Isabel II and the rise of General Prim. Pruneda clearly states his belief in Mexico and other republics to attend to their own affairs without European intervention and envisions “political freedom as the seed of civilization and progress.” Unlike others in Europe who expressed horror at the fate of Maximilian in Mexico, believing Juárez should have granted clemency, Pruneda writes a eulogy in honor of Juárez as “Benemérito de las Américas.” He concludes by advocating emancipation of Mexican Native Americans and their reconciliation with the Mexicans of the Spanish race. Portillo in his review concludes that Pruneda saw “truth in the very things that to others seemed aberration.” Pruneda is also known as “El Poyo del Cid.”

($500-1,000)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $612.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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