Succinta, et brieve narratione del Stato della Regina di Scotia, et del Principe suo Fig.lo […]. Francesco Marcaldi.
Succinta, et brieve narratione del Stato della Regina di Scotia, et del Principe suo Fig.lo […].
Succinta, et brieve narratione del Stato della Regina di Scotia, et del Principe suo Fig.lo […].
A Very Early Biography of Mary Queen of Scots

Succinta, et brieve narratione del Stato della Regina di Scotia, et del Principe suo Fig.lo […].

Genova: 7th March 1583. Manuscript, in Francesco Marcaldi's hand on paper. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, evidence of ties. Gilt edges. Dedicated to “Antonio Cattanio”, his ownership stamp on the first text leaf. ff [1 (blank)] [33 (MS)] [3 (blank)]. Later ownership inscription on the first, blank leaf. Slight spotting throughout. Some pages are partly loose. Overall in very good condition. Italian manuscript on paper. Written in a fine italic hand in brown ink, 12 lines per standard page.

One of the earliest biographies of Mary Queen of Scots; a contemporary manuscript account of Mary and her son James’ lives up to 1580, composed and copied by the Italian scribe Francesco Marcaldi.

Francesco Marcaldi’s anti-Protestant text, written as propaganda in Mary's favor is one of her earliest biographies, contains a series of chapters describing Mary (Maria Regina di Scotia, figliuola di Jacobo Quinto Re del medesimo Regno […]) and the state of Scotland from 1548, 1558 to 1580 (Il Presente stato di Scotia). Marcaldi’s text is partly based on Du statu Reginae Scotiae Principia […], an unpublished work by the Scottish catholic bishop John Lesley (1527–1596), and arranged into paragraphs in chronological order. Little is known about Marcaldi, who may have been a secretary and scribe, and moved between many cities, throughout Italy. Between 1571 and 1597 he transcribed nine short accounts of foreign and Italian states, among the present one on Scotland, and presented them to diplomats, clerics, soldiers, and other individuals throughout Italy. More than forty autograph copies of the work are known in libraries, dating from 1579 to 1587, each with different dedication, date, and location of writing. The present one — previously unrecorded — was written in Genoa and presented to “Antonio Cattanio” presumably Antoniotto Cattàneo (flor. 1547–1602), a member of the Genoese patrician family formed at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Antoniotto served as the senator of the city between 1595 and 1597 and is known as the builder of Palazzo Belimbau (Palazzo Antoniotto Cattaneo). The text appeared first in print in 1605 in La terza parte del tesoro politico […] (s.n., Turnoni), and the subsequent edition of 1612 (see: Scott, no. 199). In modern editions: Due narrazioni storiche del Regno di Scozia ai tempi della regina Maria Stuarda […] (Florence: M. Cellini, 1876); La prima storia di Maria Stuarda […] (Turin: Tipografia Subalpina, 1907). Provenance: Dedicatory letter on the first leaves by Marcaldi to “Antonio Cattanio”; his ownership stamp on the first text leaf. Later (18th-century?) ownership inscription on the first, blank leaf: “Francesco, e Giulio Cassitto”

Literature: Carta, V.: Alle origini del mito letterario di Maria Stuarda in Italia [Tesi di dottorato]. Università degli Studi di Cagliari. Esame finale anno accademico 2010–2011. https://iris.unica.it/retrieve/handle/11584/266357/344756/PHD_Veronica_Carta.pdf; Richardson, B: A Scribal Publisher of Political Information: Francesco Marcaldi, in Italian Studies, 2/2009 (64), pp. 296–313; Scott, J.: A bibliography of works relating to Mary, Queen of Scots. 1544–1700. [Edinburgh]: Printed for the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society; 1896.; Smith, J. (2016). The Sheffield portrait types, their Catholic purposes, and Mary Queen of Scots’s tomb. British Catholic History, 33(1), 71–90. doi:10.1017/bch.2016.6.

Price: €7,000.00

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