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MELLO, Francisco Manuel de

Apologos Dialogaes .  . . compostos per . . . varam digno daquella estimaçam, que o mundo, em quanto vivo, fez da sua pesssoa, & depois de morto conserva ao seu nome . . .  Obra posthuma, e a mais Politica, Civil & Gallante que fez seu Author. 


Lisbon, Na Officina de Mathias Pereyra da Silva & Joam Antunes Pedroso, 1721.


8vo.  (10) ff., 464 pp.  Contemporary calf (lacking label).   Upper margin slightly stained throughout, very occasional marginal worming.   

The rare first edition of this remarkable work, considered by Edgar Prestage to be the crowning achievement of Mello, probably the most important 17th century Portuguese literary figure.   "(He) found no dullness in life even at its worst and no solitude, for, if alone, his fancy instilled wit and wisdom into clocks and coins and fountains.   The Apologos contain incisive portraits in which types and persons are sharply etched in a few lines" (Bell, Portuguese Literature, p. 254).   Prestage comments on the work's richness of invention and observation, its gentle wit and irony and masterly satire, and considers that, perhaps more than any other prose work in Portuguese, the Apologos deserve a place in universal literature (D. Francisco Manuel de Mello, esboço biographico, pp. 286-287).   Menéndez y Pelayo considered him to be the greatest literary figure of the time after Quevedo, and according to Saraiva & Lopes (História da Literatura Portuguesa, p. 472) the last item (pp. 293-464), Hospital das Letras, is the first critical survey of ancient and modern literary authors to be written in Portuguese.   Francisco Manuel de Melo wrote the greater part of the work whilst on active service in Brazil during the war against the Dutch.

Innocêncio II, 443, "estimado e procurado."  Azevedo-Samodães 2041



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