The Night Riders

Gece yolcuları (The night riders) is a translation into Ottoman Turkish of a French novel entitled Les Cavaliers de la nuit by the prolific French writer Ponson du Terrail. It is the tale of four heroes hailing from different parts of Europe―Scotland, Lorraine, Naples, and Spain―who joined forces in the cause of a deposed king of Brittany. The novel is representative of Gothic romances popular in 19th century France, full of dark and stormy nights, secret passageways in lugubrious forest castles, and swashbuckling heroism. Pierre Alexis, vicomte de Ponson du Terrail (1829‒71) wrote dozens of such romances, the most memorable of which featured the hero Rocambole. Many of the stories were created and marketed as series in daily newspapers before being published in book form. This work was first published as a book in 1852. Modern critics group Ponson with other adventure writers of the period, such as Eugene Sue, Alexandre Dumas, and Jules Verne. This Ottoman Turkish version of Ponson’s Les Cavaliers de la nuit appeared in 1873 or 1874. It was one of dozens of novels translated from European languages into Ottoman Turkish beginning in the 1840s as reading habits developed among the newly literate and educated classes. Translated works remained common in the Turkish book market after the alphabet change of 1928.

Turkish Edition of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” Bound with “The Mysterious Island”

Deniz altında 20000 fersah seyahat is the translation into Ottoman Turkish of Jules Verne’s science fiction adventure classic, originally published in French as Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty thousand leagues under the sea). The same volume contains the author’s sequel, which appears here as Gizli ada, originally called L’île mystérieuse (The mysterious island). Together the two works tell the story of the misanthropic genius Captain Nemo who travels the globe in his undersea craft the Nautilus, shunning the world of the surface while seeking justice for populations oppressed by imperialist rule. Gizli ada follows the aging Nemo to his death on the fictitious Lincoln Island in the South Pacific. Jules Verne (1828‒1905) was a playwright and poet as well as a novelist who remains one of the most translated authors of all time. Many Ottoman translations of Verne’s works were published between 1875 and 1909, most of which were by Ahmet İhsan Tokgöz (1868‒1942), who seems to have had a nearly proprietary claim to Verne’s writings. Not only was he Verne’s principal translator; he also established a publishing house that produced many of his translations. The two novels in this volume, however, were published in Istanbul by Artın Asaduryan at the Mürettibiye Press and the Jamal Efendi Press respectively. Historian M.Ş. Hanioğlu states that in the Ottoman Empire there was from the 1860s a “growing fascination of the bureaucratic elite with Western culture” and that this marked “a sea-change in the intellectual climate of the empire.” Ahmet İhsan was a prominent representative of this elite. In addition to his translations of Verne, he translated works by Eugene Sue, Alexander Dumas, and others. During his varied career, he worked as senior translator and administrator in several government offices, participated in the political and social life of the new Turkish republic, and was the first president of the Turkish national Olympic Committee.

Codex Amiatinus

The Codex Amiatinus is the earliest surviving manuscript of the complete Bible in the Latin Vulgate. It is considered the most accurate copy of Saint Jerome’s original translation and was used in the revision of the Vulgate by Pope Sixtus V in 1585‒90. Preserved in the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence, it is one of the world’s most important manuscripts. In his Ecclesiastical History of England, the English historian and scholar known as the Venerable Bede (673‒735) records that the Benedictine monk Ceolfrid (642‒716), abbot of Wearmouth and Jarrow and a teacher of Bede, commissioned three large Bibles from the abbey’s Wearmouth-Jarrow scriptorium, two of which were placed in each of the twin churches in Wearmouth and Jarrow and the third of which was intended as a gift for the pope. The Bibles were copied from the sixth-century Codex Grandior, now lost. Of the three texts, only the exemplar that later came to be known as the Codex Amiatinus survives. Completed by seven different scribes, it was presented to Pope Gregory II by associates of Ceolfrid, who died on his way to Rome in 716. The manuscript was kept for centuries in the Abbey of the Holy Savior at Monte Amiata in Tuscany before it came to the Laurentian Library in 1782, following the suppression of the religious orders by Pietro Leopoldo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany (ruled 1765–90). The codex features two major illuminations, a portrait of the Old Testament prophet Ezra and a depiction of Christ in Majesty. Ezra is shown writing a manuscript on his lap, seated before an open book cupboard containing a Bible in nine volumes. The illumination is among the oldest images in the Western world to show a bookcase and the bindings of books. The codex also includes a two-page plan of the Tabernacle in the Temple at Jerusalem. The manuscript shows many Byzantine influences, particularly in the illuminations, and it was long thought to be of Italo-Byzantine, rather than of English, origin. A distinguishing feature of the codex is its large size. It consists of 1,030 folios measuring around 505 by 340 millimeters. Each bifolium required an entire calfskin to produce.

The Disasters of War

Among the treasures in the collections of the Heritage Library of the Complutense University of Madrid are two of the 100 copies—one from the Faculty of Arts and the other from the Faculty of Medicine—that comprised the third edition of Francisco de Goya’s series Los Desastres de la Guerra (The disasters of war). Goya’s etchings illustrate events he witnessed in Madrid and Zaragoza, his birthplace and where these works were produced after he fled the court in 1810‒15. These etchings were published posthumously. The collections of the British Museum hold a copy of the work that Goya gave to his friend Ceán Bermúdez, the title of which is Fatales consequencias de la sangrienta guerra en España con Buonaparte. Y otros caprichos enfaticos (Fatal consequences of the bloody war in Spain with Bonaparte, and other emphatic caprices). The images were kept in the artist’s country estate, Quinta del Sordo, and were owned by Goya’s son Javier until his death in 1854. In 1862 the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando bought 80 copperplates, which were published for the first time in 1863 under the title “The Disasters of War.” In 1870, Paul Lefort recovered the two remaining images, numbers 81 and 82, and donated them to the academy, completing the whole set that is held at the National Chalcography of Madrid (chalcography is the art of engraving on copper). In this series, Goya concentrates on the other side of the war: its calamities and misery. There are no major battlefield scenes: a handful of people are engaged in clashes. While the first drafts for these works contain some scenery, all anecdotal elements are removed from the final versions and the scenes become universal in their absence of detail. The war scenes are devoid of the traditional heroism and triumphalism of such representations; the artist focuses on the horror of the war in a modern and original way and surprises by not putting blame exclusively on either side. The French are condemned for the occupation and the Spanish for excessive violence. The scholar Enrique Lafuente Ferrari claims that it is likely Goya did not publish “The Disasters of War” at the time of creation for fear of an absolutist reaction, and that Ceán, in turn, added the “Emphatic Caprices” phrase to the most compromising images in an attempt to justify them. The technique used varies from work to work: along with etching, which was a novelty at the time in Spain, Goya makes use of watercolor and aquatint. Consequently, a single plate can combine different techniques. According to Lafuente, the use of etching adds to the drama in the scenes. Overall, seven editions of the work were published by 1937. The last of these editions was produced by Adolfo Rupérez, the celebrated printer of artists’ engravings, with an introduction that warns “not to discard any proof of so sacred relics or they would disappear forever.”

Rubén Darío’s “Black Oilskin Notebook”

The Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío was one of the main representatives of modernism and one of the most influential authors in Spanish literature at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. His own personal archives, comprised of over 5,000 documents, include material produced in 1893‒1923 related to his diplomatic and literary endeavors as well as to his private life. The typology of the documents varies: drafts, photographs, letters, handwritten notes, postcards, business cards, wills, telegrams, press clippings, official correspondence, invoices, food menus, and so forth. Among all the documents, the one that stands out is a notebook that contains autographical poems by Darío, drawings made by his son, and handwritten pieces about his most private family life. It is a school notebook with oilskin covers that Darío took on his journey to Nicaragua in 1907‒8 and then back to Spain. The condition of both the oilskin covers and the pages show evidence of time having taken its toll; they also show that, once Darío returned home, the notebook served other purposes, notably that of being a sketch pad for his son, Rubén Darío Sánchez (nicknamed “Güicho”). The notebook contains drawings, lines, and doodles in pencil made by the child on all the pages, including those that have writing by Darío. Four pages are missing at the beginning and the pagination of the notebook was done at a later stage. The first 38 pages contain a series of autographical poetic compositions by Darío, both complete and incomplete, including various edited poems (autographical versions and printed versions of some of them differ, the former being the first originals); several unpublished poems: and five stanzas of another poem. The most notable contents are “In Autumn” (pages 1‒11), which is incomplete, and the original manuscript for “Song of Autumn” (pages 13‒14). Almost at the end of the notebook (pages 41‒59) are pages copied in an uneven hand by Francisca Sánchez, possibly from a chapter of an unpublished novel by Darío, La isla del oro (Island of gold). Francisca was the poet’s partner from 1899 and it was Darío, together with Amado Nervo, who taught her how to write. On page 40 of the notebook is a curious note in Darío’s hand with the telegraphic codes that he used to communicate with his son Rubén and Francisca. After the author’s death in 1916, Francisca Sánchez kept the documents in a trunk in her home in Navalsaúz (Ávila) until 1956, when she donated them to the Spanish Ministry of National Education. The archive remained in the Faculty of Philology of the Complutense University of Madrid until 2008, when it was transferred to the Heritage Library of the Complutense University of Madrid, the institution that preserves and provides access to these documents.

La Donsayna, Number 1, December 1, 1844

La Donsayna was a Valencian satirical newspaper published in Madrid in the 1840s by Josep Bernat y Baldoví, who was also its editor, publisher, and main contributor. At the time, Bernat y Baldoví was a member of the Cortes Generales (General Courts), the Spanish legislature. Other collaborators were Josep Maria Bonilla and Pascual Pérez y Rodríguez. The publication reflects the atmosphere of an era of change, one that could be considered as the beginning of the modern state in Spain as well as in many other European countries. The changes underway included the unification of markets triggered by industrialization and the increased political structuring brought about by the emergence of new administrative units (the provinces) and the advent of the concept of “homeland” as an essential constituent of the nation-state. This was also a period of increasing Hispanicization and the consolidation of Spanish as the national language. However, in the case of La Donsayna, the language of choice was colloquial Valencian. The antecedents to this language were popular communications in the form of aucas (cartoons), romances de ciego (orally recited popular ballads), and colloquiers (oral poetry), as well as popular drama. Plays had been part of the various European popular cultures at least since the Middle Ages, almost always in vernacular languages rather than in the official languages imposed in the new modern states by the ruling classes. The newspaper contains dramatic and satirical pieces, which, combined with a marked popular undertone, enables it to reflect everyday life in Valencian lands during the first half of 19th century. One of the ways of portraying the society of the time was to make the characters speak their own language so as to identify their social status: while the populace (the lower social classes) speaks in Valencian, those pretending to a higher social standing communicate in Castilian, albeit with countless mistakes and “valencianisms.” The use of satire and irony in this way helps to represent the polarization between the well-to-do classes (the landlords and the bourgeoisie) and the common people. The contents of the newspaper present everyday situations by describing familiar scenes, of people, cafés, casinos, and houses. Humor is used as a vehicle to draw attention to the air of tension that existed at a time of transition between two worlds, from rural life to the new urban society. La Donsayna was published weekly. Presented here are the 13 issues that appeared from December 1, 1844, to February 23, 1845.

La Donsayna, Number 2, December 8, 1844

La Donsayna was a Valencian satirical newspaper published in Madrid in the 1840s by Josep Bernat y Baldoví, who was also its editor, publisher, and main contributor. At the time, Bernat y Baldoví was a member of the Cortes Generales (General Courts), the Spanish legislature. Other collaborators were Josep Maria Bonilla and Pascual Pérez y Rodríguez. The publication reflects the atmosphere of an era of change, one that could be considered as the beginning of the modern state in Spain as well as in many other European countries. The changes underway included the unification of markets triggered by industrialization and the increased political structuring brought about by the emergence of new administrative units (the provinces) and the advent of the concept of “homeland” as an essential constituent of the nation-state. This was also a period of increasing Hispanicization and the consolidation of Spanish as the national language. However, in the case of La Donsayna, the language of choice was colloquial Valencian. The antecedents to this language were popular communications in the form of aucas (cartoons), romances de ciego (orally recited popular ballads), and colloquiers (oral poetry), as well as popular drama. Plays had been part of the various European popular cultures at least since the Middle Ages, almost always in vernacular languages rather than in the official languages imposed in the new modern states by the ruling classes. The newspaper contains dramatic and satirical pieces, which, combined with a marked popular undertone, enables it to reflect everyday life in Valencian lands during the first half of 19th century. One of the ways of portraying the society of the time was to make the characters speak their own language so as to identify their social status: while the populace (the lower social classes) speaks in Valencian, those pretending to a higher social standing communicate in Castilian, albeit with countless mistakes and “valencianisms.” The use of satire and irony in this way helps to represent the polarization between the well-to-do classes (the landlords and the bourgeoisie) and the common people. The contents of the newspaper present everyday situations by describing familiar scenes, of people, cafés, casinos, and houses. Humor is used as a vehicle to draw attention to the air of tension that existed at a time of transition between two worlds, from rural life to the new urban society. La Donsayna was published weekly. Presented here are the 13 issues that appeared from December 1, 1844, to February 23, 1845.

La Donsayna, Number 10, February 2, 1845

La Donsayna was a Valencian satirical newspaper published in Madrid in the 1840s by Josep Bernat y Baldoví, who was also its editor, publisher, and main contributor. At the time, Bernat y Baldoví was a member of the Cortes Generales (General Courts), the Spanish legislature. Other collaborators were Josep Maria Bonilla and Pascual Pérez y Rodríguez. The publication reflects the atmosphere of an era of change, one that could be considered as the beginning of the modern state in Spain as well as in many other European countries. The changes underway included the unification of markets triggered by industrialization and the increased political structuring brought about by the emergence of new administrative units (the provinces) and the advent of the concept of “homeland” as an essential constituent of the nation-state. This was also a period of increasing Hispanicization and the consolidation of Spanish as the national language. However, in the case of La Donsayna, the language of choice was colloquial Valencian. The antecedents to this language were popular communications in the form of aucas (cartoons), romances de ciego (orally recited popular ballads), and colloquiers (oral poetry), as well as popular drama. Plays had been part of the various European popular cultures at least since the Middle Ages, almost always in vernacular languages rather than in the official languages imposed in the new modern states by the ruling classes. The newspaper contains dramatic and satirical pieces, which, combined with a marked popular undertone, enables it to reflect everyday life in Valencian lands during the first half of 19th century. One of the ways of portraying the society of the time was to make the characters speak their own language so as to identify their social status: while the populace (the lower social classes) speaks in Valencian, those pretending to a higher social standing communicate in Castilian, albeit with countless mistakes and “valencianisms.” The use of satire and irony in this way helps to represent the polarization between the well-to-do classes (the landlords and the bourgeoisie) and the common people. The contents of the newspaper present everyday situations by describing familiar scenes, of people, cafés, casinos, and houses. Humor is used as a vehicle to draw attention to the air of tension that existed at a time of transition between two worlds, from rural life to the new urban society. La Donsayna was published weekly. Presented here are the 13 issues that appeared from December 1, 1844, to February 23, 1845.

La Donsayna, Number 11, February 9, 1845

La Donsayna was a Valencian satirical newspaper published in Madrid in the 1840s by Josep Bernat y Baldoví, who was also its editor, publisher, and main contributor. At the time, Bernat y Baldoví was a member of the Cortes Generales (General Courts), the Spanish legislature. Other collaborators were Josep Maria Bonilla and Pascual Pérez y Rodríguez. The publication reflects the atmosphere of an era of change, one that could be considered as the beginning of the modern state in Spain as well as in many other European countries. The changes underway included the unification of markets triggered by industrialization and the increased political structuring brought about by the emergence of new administrative units (the provinces) and the advent of the concept of “homeland” as an essential constituent of the nation-state. This was also a period of increasing Hispanicization and the consolidation of Spanish as the national language. However, in the case of La Donsayna, the language of choice was colloquial Valencian. The antecedents to this language were popular communications in the form of aucas (cartoons), romances de ciego (orally recited popular ballads), and colloquiers (oral poetry), as well as popular drama. Plays had been part of the various European popular cultures at least since the Middle Ages, almost always in vernacular languages rather than in the official languages imposed in the new modern states by the ruling classes. The newspaper contains dramatic and satirical pieces, which, combined with a marked popular undertone, enables it to reflect everyday life in Valencian lands during the first half of 19th century. One of the ways of portraying the society of the time was to make the characters speak their own language so as to identify their social status: while the populace (the lower social classes) speaks in Valencian, those pretending to a higher social standing communicate in Castilian, albeit with countless mistakes and “valencianisms.” The use of satire and irony in this way helps to represent the polarization between the well-to-do classes (the landlords and the bourgeoisie) and the common people. The contents of the newspaper present everyday situations by describing familiar scenes, of people, cafés, casinos, and houses. Humor is used as a vehicle to draw attention to the air of tension that existed at a time of transition between two worlds, from rural life to the new urban society. La Donsayna was published weekly. Presented here are the 13 issues that appeared from December 1, 1844, to February 23, 1845.

La Donsayna, Number 12, February 16, 1845

La Donsayna was a Valencian satirical newspaper published in Madrid in the 1840s by Josep Bernat y Baldoví, who was also its editor, publisher, and main contributor. At the time, Bernat y Baldoví was a member of the Cortes Generales (General Courts), the Spanish legislature. Other collaborators were Josep Maria Bonilla and Pascual Pérez y Rodríguez. The publication reflects the atmosphere of an era of change, one that could be considered as the beginning of the modern state in Spain as well as in many other European countries. The changes underway included the unification of markets triggered by industrialization and the increased political structuring brought about by the emergence of new administrative units (the provinces) and the advent of the concept of “homeland” as an essential constituent of the nation-state. This was also a period of increasing Hispanicization and the consolidation of Spanish as the national language. However, in the case of La Donsayna, the language of choice was colloquial Valencian. The antecedents to this language were popular communications in the form of aucas (cartoons), romances de ciego (orally recited popular ballads), and colloquiers (oral poetry), as well as popular drama. Plays had been part of the various European popular cultures at least since the Middle Ages, almost always in vernacular languages rather than in the official languages imposed in the new modern states by the ruling classes. The newspaper contains dramatic and satirical pieces, which, combined with a marked popular undertone, enables it to reflect everyday life in Valencian lands during the first half of 19th century. One of the ways of portraying the society of the time was to make the characters speak their own language so as to identify their social status: while the populace (the lower social classes) speaks in Valencian, those pretending to a higher social standing communicate in Castilian, albeit with countless mistakes and “valencianisms.” The use of satire and irony in this way helps to represent the polarization between the well-to-do classes (the landlords and the bourgeoisie) and the common people. The contents of the newspaper present everyday situations by describing familiar scenes, of people, cafés, casinos, and houses. Humor is used as a vehicle to draw attention to the air of tension that existed at a time of transition between two worlds, from rural life to the new urban society. La Donsayna was published weekly. Presented here are the 13 issues that appeared from December 1, 1844, to February 23, 1845.