Title Cuaderno Collecion de versos de Ch. A. De Witt. Colleccion of Spanish Songs. Copied by C. A. DeWitt.
Binding Half Calf
Book Condition Very Good
Publisher Guatemala August, 1838
Seller ID 005512
8vo. 22 by 15.5 cm. 83 pages of song lyrics, written in a very neat hand by Mr. DeWitt. In the back are four pages of a table of contents, signifying each song by its first line, as is the convention in opera. In the main part, some of the songs have titles, while many are simply referred to as "Otros". In between the songs and the table of contents are many blank leaves. Without music or musical notation, the lyrics pass as standalone poetry, as indeed lyrics often deserve to be so regarded. Love songs of course dominate. Unusual is a song to Lesbia -- was this just a name of someone? This collection strikes us as a highly unusual piece of contemporary cultural archaeology. We are not in a position to judge whether among the songs here were ones that had widespread popularity beyond Guatemala, or to what extent these are lost lyrics. Charles DeWitt (1822-1906) went to Guatemala when he was eleven with his father who had been appointed Charge d'Affairs there, and he remained until 1838. Upon his return to the states he joined the Erie & New York Railroad, was later an agent for its steamboat operation, and came to hold management positions at various companies, including American Express. Condition: rebacked. Wear to calf corners.