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Vida do veneravel Padre Joseph de Anchieta da Companhia de Iesu, Taumaturgo do Nouo Mundo, na Provincia do Brasil ?.
Lisbon, Na Officina de Joam da Costa, 1672.. FIRST EDITION. Folio (30 x 20 cm.), late nineteenth-century green morocco by Lortic fils, triple gilt-fillet border on each cover, spine with raised bands in six compartments, richly gilt and with gilt-lettered author and title in second compartment from head, gilt inner dentelles, all edges gilt, slipcase (one corner of binding bumped, some wear wear to slipcase). Engraved coat of arms on f. *2r, engraved portrait of Anchieta on ****4v, woodcut ornament on title page, woodcut head- and tail-pieces and large woodcut initials. Washed (skillfully) and pressed. Overall in fine condition. Bookplate of Mons. Nabuco. Armorial bookplate of Joaquim de Sousa-Leão, printed in England, signed in print with tiny initials W.P.B., dated 1927. (16 ll.), 593 pp., (1 l.), 95 pp., lacking leaf Lll4, the divisional title to the "Poema". *** FIRST EDITION of this biography of the "Apostle of Brazil," an invaluable source of information for the history of Brazil and the earliest Jesuit missions there in the second half of the sixteenth century. The work has long been recognized as very rare. When the centennial of Brazilian independence was being celebrated in 1922, the President of Portugal gave a copy of this work to the President of Brazil; before he could do so, however, a special law had to be passed allowing the volume to be taken out of Portugal. In 1926, Holmes listed it among the rarest books of the Oliveira Lima collection. Borba notes that "copies complete with the portrait are very rare today." The Catalogue of the John Carter Brown Library comments that this life does not seem to derive wholly from Beretario's 1617 Latin biography, although Backer-Sommervogel stated that all later biographies derived from that one. The second edition of the Vida appeared only in 1943. Anchieta (1534-1597), known as the "Apostle of Brazil" or the "Thaumatourgos of the New World," was one of the most important figures in sixteenth-century Brazil. He went there in 1553 (see p. 6) and, with 13 others, founded the Jesuit school at Piratininga, later the site of São Paulo (pp. 17-54). There he taught Latin to the Indians and wrote the first grammar and vocabulary in their language, Tupi. In 1563 he and Father Manuel de Nobrega went to Iperoig to negotiate peace with the Tamoyos (pp. 73-98). "It is more than probable that this embassy was the salvation of the Portuguese colonies," writes Southey (I, 228). This biography also provides information on the Indians, on Jesuit missions, on Anchieta's disciples, on the rebellion of the Tamoyos and Tupis, on the French attack on Rio de Janeiro, and on the arrival in 1582 of a 16-vessel Spanish fleet under Diego Florez Valdes that was on its way to secure the Strait of Magellan (pp. 270-74). Pages 443-593 contain Anchieta's 5,786-verse Latin poem "De beata Virgine Dei Matre Maria." Anchieta, while negotiating with the Tamoyos at Iperoig, vowed to write a poem on the Virgin's life in order to keep himself from being tempted by Indian women. Since he had no paper or writing instruments (so the story goes), he traced the verses on the sand and memorized what he had written each day. The poem was first published in Vasconcellos' Chronica da Companhia de Jesu do Estado do Brasil, 1663, and went through many later editions. The Vida is beautifully printed by one of Portugal's greatest seventeenth-century typographers. This copy not only has the portrait (often lacking), but has a good impression of it - usually it is very faint. The portrait shows Anchieta surrounded by the wild animals of Brazil: jaguars, snakes, parrots, etc. The paper is thin but nearly opaque; in most copies, it is so thin as to be almost transparent. Simão de Vasconcellos (1596-1671), a native of Porto, grew up in Brazil and became a Jesuit at Bahia, where he later served as vice-rector of the Jesuit College and promoted the construction of what became the cathedral. He had great influence among his contemporaries, making enormous donations to the poor and acting as confessor to viceroys. His Chronica da Companhia de Jesu do Estado do Brasil, Lisbon 1663, is another fundamental work on sixteenth-century Brazil, as is his Vida do P. João de Almeida. Provenance: Joaquim de Sousa-Leão, distinguished Brazilian historian and diplomat of Portuguese ancestry, was a significant book and art collector. He wrote on art and historical subjects, being an expert on the Flemish painter Frans Post: see Frans Post 1612-1680, Amsterdam: A.L. Gendt & Co., 1973, and Frans Post, São Paulo: Civilização Brasileira, 1948. *** Borba de Moraes (1983) II, 890. Mindlin, Highlights 160. Arouca V55. Innocêncio VII, 286; XIX, 234. Pinto de Mattos (1970) p. 609. Barbosa Machado III, 724. Antonio II, 289. Palau 353205. Streit II, 2444. Sabin 98655. Leite VIII, 25, 35-36; IX, 176-77. Backer-Sommervogel VIII, 485-86. Rodrigues 2460: "very rare." JCB I, iii, 247. JCB, Portuguese and Brazilian Books 672/2. Bosch 135. Goldsmith V88. Holmes, Rarest Books in the Oliveira Lima Collection 100. Gubián 736: sold for 11$270 in 1867. Palha 2651. Monteverde 5476. Ameal 2457. Azevedo-Samodães 3446: copy lacking 6 preliminary leaves and p. 443-594 (Anchieta's poem). Schaeffer, Portuguese Exploration, p. 36. On Anchieta and Vasconcellos' biography of him, see Southey, History of Brazil (1810-1819) I, 263-66, 287-93; II, 682-84. Not in JFB (1994). On the bookplate of Sousa-Leão, see Fausto Moreira Rato, "Os Mais Belos Ex-Líbris Heráldico Brasileiros," in Boletim da Academia Portuguesa de Ex-Líbris Ano XXXVII (1992), no. 92, Lisboa, 1992, pp. 37-66. Porbase locates only two copies at Universidade de Coimbra and one at Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal. Not located in Copac. KVK (44 databases searched) repeats Bibliothèque nationale de France and Hamburg. NUC: NN, RPJCB, MH, ICN, InU.
      [Bookseller: Richard C. Ramer Old & Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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