Clavigero Translated into Spanish by Liberal José Joaquín de Mora

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101. CLAVIGERO, Francesco Saverio. Historia antigua de Megico: Sacada de los mejores historiadores españoles, y de los manuscritos, y de las pinturas antiguas de los indios; Dividida en diez libros; Adornada con mapas y estampas, e illustrada con disertaciones sobre la tierra, los animales, y los habitantes de Megico. Escrita por D. Francisco Saverio Clavigero; y traducida del Italiano por Jose Joaquin de Mora. London: Lo publica R. Ackermann, Strand, y en su establecimiento en Megico: asimismo en Colombia, en Buenos Ayres, Chile, Peru, y Guatemala, 1826. Vol. I: [i-iii] iv-xxxi [1], [1] 2-432 pp., folded map, 19 plates (1 folded). Vol. II: [i-iii] iv, [1] 2-449 [1], [2, publisher’s ads] pp., folded map, 1 plate. Total map & plate count: 2 folded maps, 20 copper-engraved plates (1 folded). 2 vols., 8vo (25.2 x 15 cm), contemporary three-quarter crimson sheep over marbled boards, spines gilt ruled and lettered in gilt, edges marbled, matching endpapers. Laid in this copy is a newspaper clipping and original program for the author’s reburial in Mexico City in August, 1970, referring to Clavigero as “a defender of ancient American culture against the criticism of those who did not understand it.” Slightly shelf worn, boards moderately rubbed, joints in Vol. I just starting, hinges of Vol. II cracked. Scattered mild foxing to text, occasional offsetting from plates or maps, overall a very good copy.


Anahuac o Imperio Megicano con los reinos de Acolhuacan y de Michuacan &c... [below neat line] Gravado por Neeles 352 Strand Londres. | Publicado por el Sr. R. Ackermann en Londres y en Megico. Copper-engraved map. Neat line to neat line: 28.3 x 39 cm; overall sheet size: 29.5 x 40.3 cm.

Lagos de Megico [below neat line] Publicado por el Sr. R. Ackermann en Londres y en Megico | Litho por B. King, 12 Fludyer St. Westmr. Lithograph map. Neat line to neat line: 25 x 35.5 cm. Overall sheet size: 27.1 x 36.8 cm.

     First edition in Spanish (first edition, Cesena, Italy, 1780-1781; see herein). Translated by José Joaquín Mora from the Italian original edition, edited and reduced. Palau 55481. Pilling 822. Sabin 13520. The plates are reduced versions of those that appeared in the first edition.

Translator José Joaquín de Mora (1783-1964) was a bright light among the group of Spanish liberals who emigrated to England between 1814 and 1834. He arrived in 1823 and succeeded Blanco White as head of the Spanish American division of Rudolph Ackermann’s publishing company. Ackermann had the idea to publish and translate various works on America into Spanish with a view to tapping into the American book market. Mora enthusiastically took on the task of creating journals for Spanish readers in America, developing a line of children’s educational books, and translating histories like this one and classics such as Ivanhoe. The choice of Clavigero’s work was a logical one for a liberal like Mora, who, like Clavigero, was imbued with the ideals of the Enlightenment. He was also the translator for William Davis Robinson’s Memorias de la revolución de México: y de la expedición del general Francisco Javier Mina (London: Ackermann, 1824), which inspired him to emigrate to America. Subsequently Mora participated in revolutionary movements in Buenos Aires, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. See E. Allison Peers, “The Literary Activities of the Spanish ‘Emigrados’ in England (1814-1834),” Modern Language Review, Vol. 19, No. 3 (July, 1924), pp. 315-324.


Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,225.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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