Tratado del Juego. Francisco de ALCOCER.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Tratado del Juego.
Games, Gambling, Sports, and Theatre in Sixteenth-Century Spain.

Tratado del Juego.

First edition. A compelling treatise on gambling, recreation, and theater, written by the Observant Franciscan friar Francisco de Alcocer. The author is principally concerned with potential for sin in any given activity, but in arguing his points, he illustrates in great detail the recreational life of mid-sixteenth century Spain, adopting an almost pastoral-romantic tone in his writing. Alcocer describes many sports and games, including archery, wrestling, javelin, swimming, and tennis, as well the gambling card game of primera, a direct ancestor of American poker, and one of the most popular card games in Renaissance Europe and England. Alcocer divides his treatise into three types of recreational pursuits: those for fun, those for personal improvement and education, and those for gain. It is this last group that most preoccupies Alcocer, as he sees the pursuit of gambling as the straightest road to sin, and the cardinal social ill in Spain. He notes at one point his loathing for husbands who purloin their wives' jewels and lose them to card sharps. Perhaps most interesting is Alcocer's lengthy discussion of various types of theater and spectacle, including dances, masquerades, shadow plays, circuses, and religious festivals. Alcocer professes a particular hostility toward jesters, who he compares to prostitutes, arguing they use their bodies to earn money. Alcocer disserts especially on juego de cañas, a game where mounted nobleman, armed with reeds instead of lances and spears, attack and defend in a kind of tournament joust. Curiously, in his long section on bullfighting, Alcocer announces a sympathy not for the toreadors, but for the bulls, a notably humanistic aside. Alcocer ultimately concludes that his countrymen will bet on anything whose outcome is not predetermined, and notes ruefully the conflict with Catholic predestination doctrine. A signally literary look at recreational pursuits in Renaissance Spain, engagingly written in Spanish vernacular to attract a general readership. A critical edition was published at Madrid in 2009.


Full title: TRATADO DEL | Iuego, compueſto por Fray Fr[an]- | ciſco de Alcoçer, de la orden del bien auentu | rado ſant Francisco, de la Prouincia de Santiago de la Obſeruan- | cia, en el qual ſe trata copioſamente, quando los jugadores | pecan, y son obligados a reſtituyr aſsi de derecho diuino, | como de derecho comun, y del Reyno, y de las A- | pueſtas, Suertes, Torneos, Iustas, juegos de | Cañas, Toros, y Truhanes con otras | coſas prouechoſas, y di- | gnas de ſaber. | * | [Woodcut device of Andrea de Portonaris] | Impreſſo en Salamanca en caſa de Andrea de Por- | tonarijs Impreſſor de ſu Mageſtad. | M. D. LIX. || Con Priuilegio. || Eſta taſſado en cinco blancas el pliego. [Colophon, Y8r]: Impreſſo | en Salamanca, en | caſa de Andrea de Porto- | narijs, Impreſſor de ſu | Mageſtad. Año | 1558.

Salamanca: Andrea de Portonario, 1558.

Quarto in eights, 212 x 166 x 32 mm (binding), 211 x 161 x 30 mm (text block); *4, [2]*8, **8, A-Y8; [40], 350, [1] pp. Contemporary limp vellum, title in manuscript on spine F. de Alcocer del Juego. Vellum cockled and soiled, small loss to vellum on spine, last endpaper torn at tail margin, two ties wanting.  Interior: Stain to head margin of *5; several gatherings browned, some significantly, notably C, D, and K, and the two outer conjugate pairs of gatherings O, S, R, and V. This browning appears be consistent among known copies. A good exemplar in original, unsophisticated condition.

Provenance:

17th-century custodial manuscript remark to title: Es de la l[l]ibreria del carme de Mallca. The Convento de Nuestra Señora del Carmen at Palma de Mallorca was a Carmelite institution established in Spain in 1231 and closed in 1835.

Salvá 2497; Gallardo 99; Palau 6090; Palau Salamanca, II, 519; Arcangeli, Recreation in the Renaissance: Attitudes Towards Leisure and Pastimes in European Culture, c. 1425–1675, London: Palgrave, 2003, pp. 66-9; Santo-Tomás, Enrique García, "Outside Bets: Disciplining Gamblers in Early Modern Spain," Hispanic Review, Vol. 77, No. 1., pp. 152-4; Kotzmanidou, Maria, "The Spanish and Arabic Characterization of the Go-Between in the Light of Popular Performance," Hispanic Review, Vol. 48, No. 1 (1980), pp. 103, 107; McPherson, David, "The Attack on Stage in Shakespeare's Time: An International Affair," Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2, p. 169.

Item #197

Price: $8,200.00

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