London: Humphrey Moseley, 1655. First Edition. Full calf. 1st edition in English (the Portuguese 1st was 1572). 19th century full calf, spine base chipped, top and joints strengthened, frontispiece and title darkened, as are the text margins, some stains, spots, and marginal tears, frontispiece of de Camõens neatly mounted, 1/4” chip from its upper corner, small chip from the title page’s fore margin repaired, else very good (6 1/2” X 10 7/8”), and we’re being fussier here than is usual with a 361 year old book. Not really a rare edition, but an undying one, and not for sale at this price elsewhere these days (check it out), and our copy has the large portraits of Henry the Navigator and Vasco de Gama neatly folded at the borders, not trimmed, to fit. Ex–George C. M. Birdwood, his name on the title page, some brief notes in the text, others nearly filling the rear binder’s blank, and his symbol (the whirlwind of life) in a few places too. Coll: 4to. [xxii], 224 pages. Ref: Pforzheimer 362. very good. Item #19
The heroes are the Lusiads, the children of Lusus (the Portuguese people). They believe the deities have deemed them predestined to do heroic deeds. Jupiter tells them that their victories over the Moors and Castilians anneals them to discover new worlds, spreading their law, culture, and ideals, and that in the end, they would become gods. And they did open Japan (1543), and took a dominant position there, and they explored West Africa and dictated its trade for 150 years, and they established Brazil, that place with a brazillion problems, and the 3rd most famous Amazon, after the U. S. company and the mythic women warriors. The book’s last canto closes with the ultimate revelation, a glimpse at the apparatus dei, the machine of the world (máquina do mundo), the supreme appliance, transparent and luminous, all parts seen at once, the painting that talks.