The Bibliotheca Valenciana by José Leitão

Hello and thank you for visiting. This post concerns the limited edition of our forthcoming title, the Bibliotheca Valenciana by José Leitão, whose Book of St. Cyprian: The Sorcerer’s Treasure was released by Hadean Press in 2014. Since then he has had published, with Rubedo Press, The Immaterial Book of St. Cyprian (2017), and now he returns to Hadean Press with translations of three of Jerónimo Cortez’s great works, the Non Plus Ultra Do Lunario, the Physiognomy and Various Secrets of Nature, and the Treatise of the Animals, presented and compiled for the first time into one English language volume.

We will be releasing the Bibliotheca Valenciana in three editions: our usual trade paperback, trade hardback, and a limited edition of 200 copies, for which pre-orders are now open. Read on for more information about this edition.

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…be it by chance or due to the whims of history, Jerónimo Cortez is special and unique. His name carries with it authority which is not easily found in the world. His books, particularly the Lunario, have been fundamental since their first original printing. It is then no surprise that this name would rightly feature in that other Bible of the people: The Book of St. Cyprian

…this book, as far as my Work is concerned, is probably nothing more than a footnote to the Book of St. Cyprian, and having composed it, and also looking at many of my future plans, I realize that the large majority of what I am still to write in this world will be nothing more than footnotes to the Book of St. Cyprian. This is the great danger of loving a book: every word, reference and side note can become a dangerous obsession, but at the end of the day the word ‘devotion’ needs to actually mean something.

–José Leitão, Introduction to the Bibliotheca Valenciana

bloodlettings
Proofing the trade edition.

Coming out of the Spanish 17th century, little is known about Cortez himself, though his impact on the newly created and emergent Iberian middle classes broke with the centuries-old academic establishment previously monopolised by the wealthy, educated nobility and of course by the priests who served the masses. By offering the historically underprivileged knowledge of the stars, the land, and of their own bodies, Cortez’s books quickly placed themselves in a revolutionary cultural crossroads from where they would influence local folklore, folk magic, and the grimoires of later centuries, such as the literary continuum of the Iberian Books of St. Cyprian. Today Cortez’s works not only have value as historical documents, but also as a powerful, rich and broad bridge offering access to the way our ancestors thought about and acted upon the world in which they lived, no longer in the role of passive victims of destiny, but as active directors of their reality.

The Lunario is an early almanac, full of astrological and astronomical information, prognostications of the weather, descriptions of the various winds, information on bloodlettings, and includes remedies for a variety of conditions such as windy inflammation, gout, cataracts, and mange.

The Physiognomy is part medical treatise covering the humours, the qualities of the astrological signs, the physiognomy of each part of the body, and part astrological text, describing the properties of the elements and their regions. It also includes sections on the many uses of rosemary and aguardente.

The Treatise is a bestiary covering the land and air animals, and includes mythical beasts such as the unicorn and the dragon.

wolf

Those of you who follow me on Facebook might have seen my post about the book that ate my life, as well as the mock-up of the trade edition’s cover (above). The Bibliotheca Valenciana is a 626 page monster of a book, with a four-page table of contents, a two-page list of tables, three appendices, and five indexes to help you navigate your way around the text. The complete table of contents can be found on the pre-order page.

The Bibliotheca Valenciana measures 254mm by 178mm and weighs almost two and half pounds. For the limited edition, the text is printed on 100gsm Kaskad Eider Vellum, the book is rustically bound in natural cotton cloth with black endpapers and ribbon, and has black stamping on the front and spine. Below is the mock-up of the cover. The price of this edition is £85.00 which includes shipping to anywhere in the world.

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The official release date of the trade edition is 26 September, 2017. I expect the limited editions to begin shipping around that date, too.

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As ever, your support is very much appreciated. We hope you love this book as much as we do.

ALWays,

Erze & Dis