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MS 18 'Varios egnimas [enigmas] de los dislates mundanos', a manuscript of Spanish poetry from the late 16th century

A volume of paper leaves in a vellum binding, containing the manuscript of a poem of 546 stanzas entitled 'Varios egnimas [enigmas] de los dislates mundanos'. The text of this poem appears to be a unique exemplar: although there are two manuscripts in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, entitled `Varios enigmas' and `Varias enigmas y versos', the contents of these are very different (MS 2244 and 4046: Inventario general  de manuscritos de la Biblioteca Nacional (1953-) vi, pp. 142-52; x, pp. 252-3). The poem has a conventional theme of moral folly and wordly absurdities, but one which is developed in the specific context of the Spain of Philip II. There is a strong probability that the text was composed by a Spanish soldier in the Netherlands about 1578. This copy dates from the late sixteenth century and was made, according to a note at the end, by `le secretaire Jan Fernando de Woorsboelx', who may also have been a native of the Spanish Netherlands. The text has been edited, with a critical introduction, by M.P.Gorman, `A critical edition of "Varios enigmas de los dislates mundanos" (Southampton University Library MS A106), with a study of politico-religious poetry in sixteenth-century Spain' (Univ. of Southampton Ph.D. thesis, 1973).

The manuscript was purchased in 1967 from B.L.Gilbert, a Southampton bookseller.

Date range:

Late 16th century

Former references:


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