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AN HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE ON THE DESIGNATION 'SENTIMENTAL ROMANCE' David Hook University ofBristol I thank the Editor for his encouragement to participate in this Forum debate as a respondent. I would not normally accept the invitation ; but there is one small factual observation for me to make, and since it does usually help to establish facts before venturing into arguments concerning them, it may be helpful even at this relatively late stage. The earliest use of the term 'sentimental romance' that I have encountered is by the great American historian of literature George Ticknor. In the sixth American edition of his classic History ofSpanish Literature (3 vols, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Sc Co., 1889), discussing Chiesti/m de amor, he observes that it "is, therefore, chiefly interesting as a very early attempt to write historical romance; just as the "Cárcel de Amor", which called it forth, is an attempt to write sentimental romance" (1: 450-451). Dr Kirstin Kennedy, who kindly checked this point on my behalf at the British Library today, confirms to me that the description was indeed already used by Ticknor in the 1849 edition (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1: 427), a date which for the present will serve as a provisional terminus a quo for the designation. I have not made an extensive search of earlier authors (though I do not encounter it in the English translation of Bouterwek, or in Foster, for example). Whatever our assessment of Ticknor's evaluation of these works, our appreciation of the history of the term under review should take account of his use of it. Of its precise implications for Ticknor, I have not the leisure for an extended study; my personal view of the Ia corónica 31.2 (Spring, 2003): 292-93 The Genre of the "Sentimental Romance": Responses293 current priorities for research in our discipline is that we should aim to spend more time in the archives, libraries, and salerooms than in the forum.1 1 To give but one current example of the prioi itv that this should claim: one hopes that somebody appropriately qualified in the United States has actually been able to see and study the fifteenth-century quarto paper manuscript copv (2 1 II. of 26) ofVersion I of the Catalan text of the Desinicelo de Jerusalem auctioned at Sotheby's New York on 13 December 2000 (too late for inclusion in the introduction to my edition ofVersion II). This, as I was able to ascertain before the auction from a photocopy provided for purposes of identification (thanks to Sandra Sider and Paul Needham, who first consulted me about the MS), contains a more complete text in certain key passages than the only manuscript previously known of that version (MS Ripoll 155, Archivo de Ia Corona de Aragón). Since my correspondence concerning the 'new' MS may otherwise be the principal record within Hispanism of its existence apart from the auction catalogue, perhaps I should publish it; but in the meantime let this note serve to illustrate my point. Works Cited Bouterwek, Frederick. History ofSpanish and Portuguese Literature. Trans. Thomasina Ross. 2 vols. London: Boosey & Sons, 1823. Foster, Alexander F. Spanish Literature. Edinburgh: William & Robert Chambers, 1851. Ticknor, George. History of Spanish Literature (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1849). 3 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1889. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 292-293
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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