Antiquarian Works Featured in Leo Cadogan Rare Books' First Catalogue
By Michael Stillman
Leo Cadogan Rare Books has just issued their first catalogue. The quite appropriate title is Catalogue One - Autumn 2008. It contains 45 varied items, or as they describe them - "Americana; Anglicana; astrology, astronomy, mathematics; Biblical and theological interest; commerce and coinage, law, politics and history; literature, games and court life; and medical issues." As you might surmise from this list of topics, there are many very old books in this selection. They range back as far as 1552, and as Cadogan notes, almost all are prior to 1800. As you might also suspect with books this age, many are in Latin, but you will find numerous titles in English, Spanish and French as well. For those who are truly antiquarians, the type of books Cadogan offers will be the kind you appreciate. Here are a few samples from this most interesting first catalogue.
Item 3 is a collection of diplomatic correspondence concerning the 1762 Spanish invasion of Portugal: Razon de entrer en Portugal las tropes Espanolas... It was not so much that Portugal was the enemy as it was that country's alliance with Britain, with whom the French and Spanish were at war, that upset the Spanish. The Spanish and French write the Portuguese of the need to contain "the greed that has inspired in the British nation the ambitious project to be the despot of the seas..." The two nations were particularly concerned about British interference with trade from their dependencies in the New World. This item was printed in Madrid in 1762, and that year will set off bells with readers in America. This was nearing the end of the French and Indian War, in which the British routed the French. The same was happening on the continent where the confrontation is better known as the Seven Years War. French and Spanish demands notwithstanding, the Portuguese, with assistance from the British, drove the Spanish from their territory, after which a peace treaty, as part of the larger conclusion of war, was signed. As an aside, the British hero of the Portuguese campaign was John Burgoyne, who would then rise in the ranks to lead the British in their ill-fated battle at Saratoga during the American Revolution. Priced at £250 (US $371).
When the Spanish weren't attacking the English militarily, they were attacking them literarily. Item 7 is Historia particular e la persecucion de Ingleterre... (history of English persecution) by Diego de Yepes. This book was published in 1599, in the later years of Elizabeth's reign in England. In it, the author recounts numerous examples of persecution of Catholics in England. Of course, the Spanish were not that kind to minorities during the Spanish Inquisition era themselves, but that is a story for another day. The book is dedicated to Philip III, the Catholic King of Spain. £1,850 ($2,761).
Item 22 is proof that business must go on despite the most unusual of circumstances. These are two issues of Loi relative aux Droits d'entrée sur les Denrees Coloniales. These are French decrees of tariffs on sugar, coffee, and other goods from the colonies in America. One is dated 1791, the other 1792. What is most interesting is the first is issued in the name of Louis XVI. The second is in the name of the National Assembly. This was the period of the French Revolution. King Louis XVI was overthrown in 1792, and put to death the following year as the Revolution got way out of hand. £175 (US $261).