La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].

La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].
  • Another image of La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].
  • Another image of La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].
  • Another image of La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].
  • Another image of La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].
  • Another image of La Anatomia de Espanna. by [TEXEIRA, José, attributed to].

~ La Anatomia de Espanna. [?England or France]. 1598.

Manuscript on paper, small folio (295 × 200 mm), pp. [2], 88, [6] (blank), title pasted to succeeding blank. Title with emblematic calligraphic border, text in Spanish in a neat italic hand, rectos and verso, between 30-40 lines per page. Wormed throughout, heaviest to the first 15 leaves, then becoming less concentrated, but each leaf still stable. Contemporary limp parchment, 6 exposed cords at joints, early manuscript spine title. Soiled, slight loss to upper forecorner of upper cover, but sound.

A virulent attack on Philip II, King of Spain, attributed to José Teixeira, a Dominican friar exiled in France and England, confessor to Dom António, Prior of Crato, exiled king of Portugal. La Anatomia de Espanna includes accounts of Francis Drake (‘Francisco Draco’ or ‘El Draco’) and the English Armada of 1586 and the 1596 capture of Cadiz. The text and its likely author were closely associated with the circle of Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.

It is unpublished in print and known in one other manuscript copy in Spanish and two in English (The Anatomie of Spayne). Our version, while neatly written, contains numerous corrections and additions and is clearly dated 1598, suggesting it may be the earliest of these versions, potentially even the author’s original.Written in defence of the independence of Portugal, the title-page is emblematic of the contents: at its head the Spanish royal arms are secured to the twin pillars of ‘Miedo’ (fear) and ‘Sospecha’ (suspicion). Five further pillars, each with armorial shields are labelled: ‘Usurpacion’, ‘Hipocresia’, ‘Perfidia’, ‘Tirania’, ‘Homocidia’ and ‘Bastardia’. Over the course of 88 pages, the author disputes the legitimacy of Spanish rule over Portugal, accuses Philip II of mistreating his wives and implies that he was responsible for the death of his son, Don Carlos and his brother, Don Juan. He demonstrates that Philip was a poor friend to his supporters, such as the Dukes of Alva and Parma, but most notably António Pérez, at that time also in exile in London.

‘The “Anatomy of Spain,” a tract of 1598 probably written by a Portuguese exile in England, José Teixeira, popularized many hoary myths about the king: that before he married the princess of Portugal in 1543 he had two children by a court lady, Doña Isabel Osorio (since he was only just sixteen at the time of his first marriage this seems somewhat improbable); that during the 1560’s he got another lady, Doña Eufrasia de Guzmán, pregnant, forced the prince of Asculi to marry her, and then had the prince poisoned. There was also more detail on Don Carlos and the death of Escobedo … and there were vivid descriptions of the (unpunished) atrocities committed by Philip’s troops in Portugal, the Netherlands and the Indies. The “Anatomy of Spain” aimed to point out the “cost” of Philip II to the world. Its closing words execrated “this perfidious Philip, great hypocrite, incestuous king, accursed murderer, unjust usurper, detestable tyrant and monster” – but it was never published’ (Parker, Philip II, Chicago: Open Court, 1995, p. 203).

A second manuscript in Spanish of the Anatomia is at Cambridge, also dated 1598 probably a fair copy, illuminated, with elaborate heraldic illustration, bound in velvet (CUL MS Gg.6.19), with some heavy deletion and at least one leaf excised. An English translation exists in two early manuscripts, where the text is attributed to ‘Don Biud de Haro’ translated by ‘Harye Bedwod’, both evidently pseudonyms. The first of these English versions is at Eton College (MS 164), the second at the Beinecke Library, Yale (Osborne Fa20, ex. Gwyn of Lansmor, Ford Abbey and Phillipps), both being dated 1589, both with emblematic title-pages and elaborate illumination. The manuscripts are discussed by Gustav Ungerer in A Spaniard in Elizabethan England, pp. 275-6, but our version was unknown to him. It is potentially the earliest of the three and closest to the author.

Though unpublished in this form, several related works by Teixeira appeared in print in England, with the anonymous A Treatise Paraenetical, that is to say: an Exhortation. Wherein is shewed … the right way and true meanes to resist the … Castilian King … by a pilgrim Spaniard, of 1598, also associated with the circle of the Earl of Essex, containing some of the same material.

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