Anthony Munday’s Palmendos (1589) in the Early Modern English Book Trade: Print and Reception

Leticia Álvarez-Recio

Abstract


Anthony Munday’s The Honorable, Pleasant and Rare Conceited Historie of Palmendos is based on the first book of the Spanish romance Primaleón de Grecia (Salamanca, 1512), which was in its turn a sequel to Palmerín de Olivia (Salamanca, 1511). Primaleón was such a big hit in the Spanish book trade that ten editions were published between 1512 and 1588. This work was translated into Dutch, Italian and French, thus enjoying an extraordinary reception abroad. In 1589, Anthony Munday issued his English translation of the first thirty-two chapters of the French edition, which focused on the adventures of Palmendos, Primaleon’s eldest brother. The fact that a different English translation of these same passages was published by William Barley in 1596 illustrates the positive reception this story had among contemporary readers. Its popularity would also account for the publication of a second edition, now lost, in the mid-late 1620s, and of two further editions in 1653 and 1663. This article studies the printing history of Anthony Munday’s Palmendos and examines Munday’s position as a professional author/translator in the Early Modern English book trade. The role of Hispanic chivalric literature in the late sixteenth and seventeenth century London book market is also analyzed.

Keywords: chivalric literature; Early Modern English; translations; book trade; Anthony Munday; Palmendos


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References


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