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Culture

The first play by Shakespeare to arrive in Spain is found in Salamanca

Barcelona / The professor at the University of Barcelona (UB) John Stone has found in Salamanca what could be the first copy of a work by William Shakespeare to arrive in Spain.

As reported by the UB this Thursday, the discovery occurred while Stone was working on an investigation in the funds on philosophy and economics of the 18th century of the Royal College of Scots of Salamanca.

Stone, a professor at the UB Faculty of Philology and Communication, found among the old books a print from 1634 of the tragicomedy The two noble kinsmen, written in four hands with John Fletcher and considered the last work of Shakespeare.

The work was included in a volume made up of several pieces of English theater, mostly printed between 1630 and 1635.

“Most likely, they arrived, either as part of a student’s personal library, or at the request of the first rector of the Royal College of Scots, Hugh Semple, a friend of Lope de Vega and who had more plays in his private library, ”Stone explained.

According to the researcher himself published in an article in Notes and Queries, the most plausible hypothesis is that the works were acquired around 1635 by some English or Scottish traveler who, before leaving his country, wanted to take some theatrical texts published at that time in the British Isles.

The English Theater Collections

English book collections were rare in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Spain, and English theater collections were exceptional.

In fact, the Collective Catalog of the Spanish Bibliographic Heritage does not record any copies of plays in English printed before 1720.

The only copy that could dispute Stone’s discovery of being Shakespeare’s first work in Spain is a volume located in the Real Colegio de San Albano, in Valladolid, and that is currently kept in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, although as warns Stone several scholars date the arrival in Spain of the copy from Valladolid between 1641 and 1651.

In this way, if the work found by Stone arrived before 1640, it would be effectively the first Shakespeare print that would have circulated in Spain.

In addition to the book that contains The two noble kinsmen, Stone discovered in Salamanca a second volume of English plays from the same years, and both volumes bring together 19 plays that must have arrived unbound at the first historic headquarters of the Royal College of the Scots, in Madrid, in any case not later than 1654.

“It is a time when English theater is increasingly associated with elite culture and the rector Semple, due to his political ambitions, it was convenient to be informed of what was happening in London,” explains Stone to put the finding in context.

After arriving in Madrid, the works were transferred to the different locations that the Royal College of Scots library has had.

Historical data allow us to reconstruct this route: the works went from the original headquarters in Madrid to the building of the College of the Irish in Alcalá de Henares, where they remained from 1767 to 1770; later, to the headquarters of the Royal College of Scots in Valladolid (1770-1985), and finally to the Royal College of Scots in Salamanca, where they have now been discovered.

The UB researcher affirms that the discovery of Shakespeare’s work shows his interest in studying in depth the library of the Royal College of Scots and its collection of English works, both in literature and in other fields.

Stone is part of a research project on the reception in Spain of Adam Smith and was looking for reviews of the work The wealth of nations, of which the rector of the Royal College of Scots John Geddes translated several chapters into Spanish; and it was in the course of this investigation that he found, by chance, the Shakespearean piece. (September 18, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

News related in video (April 2016):


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Question 1
En el texto se dice que...
A
se ha hallado una obra inédita de Shakespeare.
B
se ha hallado la que podría haber sido la primera obra teatral que escribió Shakespeare.
C
se ha encontrado un ejemplar de una obra de Shakespeare en Salamanca, España.
Question 2
Según el texto...
A
se piensa que ese ejemplar podría ser la primera obra de Shakespeare que llegó a España.
B
se descarta por completo que esa pueda ser la primera obra de Shakespeare que llegó a España.
C
se piensa que fue el propio Shakespeare el que trajo ese ejemplar a España.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que...
A
se desmiente que no fuera muy común que hubiera libros ingleses en España durante los siglos XVII y XVIII.
B
esa obra de Shakespeare se halló en un libro sobre el teatro inglés y la poesía española.
C
esa obra de Shakespeare que hallaron en Salamanca fue impresa en el siglo diecisiete.
Question 4
Según el texto...
A
si esa obra realmente llegó antes 1640 a España sería la primera obra de Shakespeare que llegó a España.
B
jamás el teatro inglés se ha relacionado con la cultura de élite.
C
se desmiente que haya una colección de obras inglesas en el Real Colegio de los Escoceses.
Question 5
Stone halló ese ejemplar porque estaba investigando sobre la influencia de Shakespeare en España.
A
No se sabe.
B
Verdadero.
C
Falso.
Question 6
En el vídeo se dice que...
A
Shakespeare estudió en una escuela ubicada en el centro de la ciudad de Londres.
B
hay personas que quieren comprobar si los restos de Shakespeare aún siguen en su tumba.
C
se desmiente que la estructura de ese edificio sea de madera.
Question 7
En el vídeo se ve que...
A
ninguno de los pupitres de esa escuela son de madera.
B
el rostro de Shakespeare aparece pintado en una de las vigas de esa escuela.
C
no todas las tiaras son iguales.
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