UNRECORDED IN THE US

Relacion verdadera de la insigne vitoria que alcanço el rey de Polonia, contra el gran duque de Moscobia.

[Madrid, F. de Ocampo, 1634.]

£1,250

Folio. 2 unnumbered and unsigned ll., [*]2. Roman letter, little Italic. Uniform slight age browning, minimal spotting. A very good copy in modern wrappers.

Very good copy of this remarkable ephemeral survival—an important witnesses to Spain’s perception of Russia during the Siglo de Oro. First issued with a slightly different title in Seville by Juan Gomez de Blas, this work belongs to the popular European genre of ‘relaciones’, two-leaf folio news reports on major international events, here unusually concerned with Muscovy, a monarchy with which Spain still had little contact. This ‘relacion’ reported, on the basis of an official Polish missive, the victory and basic events of the Russian siege of Smolensk in 1632-34, eventually curbed, despite the lesser forces, by Władisław IV who had just succeeded his late father as King of Poland. The Muscovy soldiers, it recounted, brought about ‘great havoc’ in Smolensk ‘by capturing people, destroying fields, stealing cattle and other things at hand’. Indeed, such early C17 ‘relaciones’ were still influenced by half-fictional accounts presenting Muscovy as a place inhabited by barbarians, traitors and faithless people ruled by an absolutist regime (‘Muscovy in the Golden Age in Spain’, 147). From the early C17, the increasing appearance of Muscovy in ‘relaciones’ as well as chronicles or literature, such as Lope de Vega’s ‘El gran duque de Moscovia’ (1619), revealed the Habsburg’s interest in the politics of Poland, led by the expansionist Władisław III, seen as a potential ally for curbing the Turkish and Russian pressure over Asian commercial routes (‘De Moscovia a Rusia’, 80). A scarce and important document.

No copies recorded in the US.

Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 56282; USTC 5011221; Moreno Garbayo, Madrid, 1311; Каталог коллекции Russica, 760. Not in Palau. J.M. Usunáriz, ‘Muscovy in the Golden Age in Spain’, Hipogrifo 1 (2018), 141-60; M.V. López-Cordón Cortezo, ‘De Moscovia a Russia’, Satabi 55 (2005), 77-98.

L2862