INTRODUCTION

PORTUGUESE literature may be said to belong largely to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Europe can boast of no fresher and more charming early lyrics than those which slept forgotten1. in the Vatican Library until the late Professor Ernesto Monaci published Il Canzoniere Portoghese in 1875. And, to take a few more instances out of many, the poems of King Alfonso X, of extraordinary interest alike to historian and literary critic, first appeared in 1889; the plays of Gil Vicente were almost unknown before the Hamburg ( 1834) edition, based on the Göttingen copy of that of 1562; Sà de Miranda only received a definitive edition in 1885; the Cancioneiro Geral became accessible in the middle of the nineteenth century, when the three volumes of the Stuttgart edition were published; the exquisite verses1 of Sà de Meneses, which haunted Portuguese poetry for a century,2 then sank into oblivion till they were discovered by Dr. Sousa Viterbo in the Torre do Tombo.3 The abundant literature of popular quadras, fados, romances, contos has only begun to be collected in the last fifty years.

In prose, the most important Leal Conselheiro4 of King Duarte

____________________
1
A few Portuguese sixteenth-century writers in touch with Italy may have known of their existence. But they were neglected as ruslicas musas. The references to King Dinis as a poet by Antonio Ferreira and once in the Cancioneiro Geral do not of course imply that his poems were known and read. André de Resende seems to have been more interested in tracing an ancestor, Vasco Martinez de Resende, than in the poets among whom this ancestor figured (see C. Michaëlis de Vasconcellos, Randglosse XV in Ztft. für rom. Phil., xxv. 683).
2
Illud vero poemation quod vulgo circumfertur de Lessa . . . nunc vero cum plurimum illud appetant . . . ( Soares, Theatrum). Cf. F. Rodriguez Lobo, Primavera, ed. 1722, pp. 240, 356, 469; Eloy de Sottomayor, Ribeiras do Mondego, f. 27 v., 28 v., 120-1, 186; Cane. Geral of A. F. Barata ( 1836- 1910), p. 235; Jeronimo Bahia, Ao Mondego ( Fenix Ren., ii. 377-9). Cf. Brito, Mon. Lus. 1. ii. 2: O rio Leça celebre pelas rimas de nosso famoso poeta.
3
The documents of the Torre do Tombo are now in the able keeping of Dr. Pedro de Azevedo and Snr. Antonio Baião.
4
Even its title was inaccurately given, as O Fiel Conselheiro ( Bernardo de Brito ), De Fideli Consiliario ( N. Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ii. 241), Del Buen Consejero ( Faria e Sousa); correctly by Duarte Nunez de Leam. A Conselheiro Fiel by Frei Manuel Guilherme ( 1658- 1734) appeared in 1727.

-13-

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Portuguese Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 8
  • Introduction 13
  • I - 1185-1325 22
  • II - 1325-1521 58
  • III - The Sixteenth Century [1502-80] 106
  • IV - 1580-1706 251
  • V - 1706-1816 270
  • VI - 1816-1910 287
  • Appendix 338
  • Index 359
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