Libro llamado Menosprecio de corte y alabanca de aldea, Compuesto por el illustre senor don Antonio de Guevara, Obispo de Mondonedo, predicador, y chronista, y del consejo de Su Magestad. De nouveau mis en francois par L.T.L. auquel avons adiouste l'Italien [...] pour plus grand enrichissement de cest oeuvre, y ont este adioustes les vers francois des evesques de Meaux & de Cambray, & les Latins de N. de Clemeges, docteur en theologie, sur la grande disparite de la vie rustique avec celle de cour

Autore: GUEVARA, Antonio de (1481-1545)-[MAYERNE, Louis Turquet de, tr. (1550-1618)]

Tipografo: Jean de Tournes

Dati tipografici: [Genève], 1591



16mo (115x77 mm). [8], 551, [1] pp. Collation: [†]4 A-Z8 a-l8 m4. De Tournes' device on last page, small ornamental initials. Texts printed in three different types: Spanish text in roman, French text in civilite?, and Italian text in italic type. Spanish and French arranged vertically in parallel columns, with Italian arranged horizontally across lower portion of the page. 17th-century blind-ruled calf, gilt spine with morocco lettering piece, initials “Gv” on the front edge (rubbed and worn, joints repaired). Small holes skillfully repaired on title page slightly affecting text, title page a bit soiled, small worm holes and tracks to the lower margin of several leaves only occasionally touching the text, upper margin cut short, all in all a good, genuine copy from the library of the Earls of Macclesfield (see Sotheby's sale catalogue, 2006, part VIII, 2699) with its engraved bookplate on the front pastedown, its shelf mark label on the second fly leaf, and its embossed stamp on the first two leaves.


Nicely printed pocket edition of Guevara's work on the ‘Dispraise of the life of a courtier', as sounds the title under which it was first translated into English in 1548, with the text in three languages, Spanish, French, and Italian, “pour l'utilité et soulagement de ceux qui prennen plaisiraux vulgaires qui sont auiourd'huy les plus estimé”. The Libro llamado Menosprecio de corte y alabanc?a de aldea was first published in Valladolid in 1538 as part of Guevara's Obras. According to Palau y Dulcet and Brunet, the initials of the French translator mentioned on the title, correspond with those of Louis Truquet, Lyonnois. The Italian translation is attributed to the printer De Tournes. At the end are two sets of French verses on the pleasures of rustic life by Philippe de Vitry (1291-1361), and one on the miseries of the tyrant's life by Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420). Both are followed by Latin versions from the pen of Nicolas de Clamanges (1363-1437).

Antonio de Guevara was the major prose writer of sixteenth century Spain. The enormous success of his works, made him the first Spanish writer to achieve a status comparable to that of the great authors of antiquity. He was born around 1481 in the city of Treceño  and moved in 1492 to the royal court, where he stayed until the mid 1510s. Around 1506 he joined the Franciscan Order. In 1521 Charles V summoned him to serve as preacher in the royal chapel, a post that he occupied, however, only two years later. In 1525 and 1526 he was sent to Valencia and Granada as a commissioner of the Inquisition to evangelize the Islamic population. As a reward, the emperor appointed him royal chronicler. In 1528 Guevara wrote the Libro aureo de Marco Aurelio, followed a year later by the Libro llamado Relox de principes, a reworking of the previous book, both of which became two of the most frequently published works in Europe. In 1529 he was elected bishop of Guadix, and in 1537 bishop of Mondoñedo. Three years later, probably because he felt uncomfortable, he asked for a different position in Valladolid, which, however, was denied to him. His disappointment is clearly manifest in his last works, including the second book of letters, which became more spiritual and ascetic. He died in 1545, while he was finishing La segunda parte del libro llamado Monte Calvario. By that time he had gained international renown and his writing where widely read and imitated all over Europe (cf. E. Grey, Guevara, A forgotten Renaissance Author, The Hague, 1973 passim; see also J.R. Jones, Antonio de Guevara, Boston, 1975, passim; see also A. Redondo, Antonio de Guevara (1480?-1545) et l'Espagne de son temps. De la carrière officielle aux oeuvres politico-morales, Genève, 1976, passim).


Palau y Dulcet, 110280; Cartier, 690; Adams, G-1496; Carter & Vervliet, 265; Brunet, II, 1799; E.H.A. Gaullieur, E?tudes sur la typographie genevoise du XVe au XIXe sie?cles et sur l'introduction de l'imprimerie en Suisse, Nieuwkoop, 1971, pp. 212-214.