Notes: An attractive example of a Spanish-language gift annual published in the United States. Carey, who was actively developing a Spanish-language export business, issued a few gift volumes under the title El aguinaldo and this one-off volume directly aimed at the women's gift market.
Presente a las damas consists of 32 engraved plates, most with captions in English, Spanish, and French, and repurposed from other Carey publications, followed by uncredited poems with the same title as the plate. The poems seem to be drawn from several sources, including the great Cuban poet José María Heredia's Poesías, published in New York in 1825. According to E. R. Moore (José María Heredia in the United States, Modern Language Notes, vol. 65, no. 1), the poems entitled Cascada de Montmorency, La Cascada de Trenton, Niagara, and Atenas, are excerpts from Heredia's poems, some with variant readings found nowhere else. Heredia appears to have at least known of this publication because in the 1832 edition of his Poesías he refers to their publication in Philadelphia.
The editor of his volume has never been identified, but it was probably one of the Cuban writers living in Philadelphia at the time, Domingo del Monte, José Antonio Saco, Félix Merino, or Félix Varela (see Moore, p. 43).
, 32 plates alternating with 32 leaves of text. 5 by 7-5/8 inches.
Edition + Condition: First edition. A very good copy bound in embossed paper over boards, stamped in gilt on the spine and in the center medallion of both covers. All edges gilt. This copy has been neatly rebacked, preserving the original spine. Lacking the rear endpaper. With an early bookplate partially removed and overwritten by Elisa Gomez C. Negrete (probably María Elisa Enriqueta Gómez Castillo-Negrete, born Guadalajara, 1867).
Publication: Filadelfia (Philadelphia): Carey, Lea, and Carey, 1829.
Item No: #361044