GRAZZINI, Anton Francesco.


Cioè, La Gelosia, La Spiritata, La Strega, La Sibilla, La Pinzochera, I Parentadi. Parte non più stampate, nè recitate.

Venice: appresso Bernardo Giunti, et Fratelli, 1582 Stock Code: 113446
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Florentine comedies, four printed here for the first time

First edition of this collection of comedies by the Florentine poet and playwright Anton Francesco Grazzini, called "Il Lasca", (1503-1584), who was an important practitioner of the commedia erudite, the 16th-century popular drama that spurned the classicizing taste of the age and the refined artistic ideals of Pietro Bembo. These are robust comedies built around the theme of intrigue-deception. Although in the classical tradition of Plautus and Terence, the dialogue is expressed in the lively and popular version of spoken Florentine. In its use of stock comedy characters - gullible fools, lustful young people, corrupt scheming servants, and the like - the style shares many elements with the more improvisational commedia dell'arte. Italian comedy of this era had a strong influence on the Elizabethan theatre in England, notably in the comedies of Shakespeare and Jonson, where "high" and "low" styles were mixed with similar gusto and Italian settings were favoured.

Each of the six comedies here has its own title, foliation and register, and surviving copies are often found incomplete, broken into their constituent parts. Four of the comedies - La Strega (The Witch), La Sibilla (The Sibyl), La Pinzochera (The Go-Between) and I Parentadi (The Kingships) - were not staged during Grazzini's lifetime and are printed here for the first time. La Gelosia (Jealousy) was first published in 1551; La Spiritata (The Possessed) in 1561. The latter was translated anonymously into English as The Bugbears (known only from a single manuscript).

With the book labels of Luigi Razzolini and Ludovico Passarini on the front pastedown. Luigi Razzolini (his book label has the alternative form of his first name, Aloysii, in manuscript) was the author of Bibliografia dei testi di lingua a stampa citati dagli Accademici della Crusca (1863); Grazzini helped to found the Accademia della Crusca in 1582. Razzolini edited several early Italian authors, including Boccaccio and Petrarch. He has added the note on the front free endpaper: "Questa edizione è citata dagli Accademici della Crusca. Gamba 449." Ludovico Passarini published a number of antiquarian works in the 1870s and 1880s, some under the anagrammatic pseudonym Pico Luri di Vassano.

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Octavo (150 x 90 mm). Eighteenth-century half calf, smooth spine with gilt roundels in compartments, green morocco label, marbled sides, blue edges.


Each comedy except the first has its own separate dated title page, foliation and register.


Occasional browning, some leaves trimmed a little short in the fore margin, slight bleed into most margins from the edge-dye; overall, a very good copy.


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