Espinhos e flores, drama original. Editor – A. Moutinho de Souza.
Porto, na Typ. de J.A. de Freitas Junior, 1857.
8vo. 65 pp., with a fine engraved portrait of the author as frontispiece. Recent calf, original blue printed wrappers bound in.
A fine copy of the very rare first edition of Camilo Castelo Branco’s play, and the first of Castelo Branco’s dramas to be performed in Lisbon at the Teatro Nacional, and according to Alexandre Cabral (Dicionário de Camilo Castelo Branco, Lisbon, Caminho, 1989, p. 255) enjoyed considerable success. According to Luís Francisco Rebello, it was first performed in February 1857 in Porto at the Teatro de São João. As often occurs in Castelo Branco’s writing he portrays the man as the cause of trouble and the criminal element in the family disintegration; in this case it is the fidalgo, Luís de Ataíde, and he strives to explore the causes of his heroine’s unhappiness, as the victim of an unscrupulous adventurer (see O teatro de Camilo. Lisbon, Min. da Educação, 1991, pp. 46-7). Jorge de Faria believes that Espinhos e flores is the most solidly constructed and balanced of his plays, the dialogue being more concise and better developed, and the action more direct (see Boletím da Casa de Camilo, 3ª ser., nº 8, dez. de 1986, p. 64). The work is dedicated to Alexandre Herculano. The second edition also appeared in Porto in the same year printed by Cruz Coutinho, but lacks the portrait of the youthful dramatist.
Innocêncio II, 15 & IX, 10. Henri Lacape, Contribution à une bibliographie de Camilo Castelo Branco (Paris 1941), 23. WorldCat lists 2 copies only. This first edition not in COPAC.