Newsletter of the centro


New Series,  no. 11 - November-December 2005

edited by Dario Manfredi and Rossana Piccioli



 News of the World


ª  Spain. Alicante

From November 16 to 21, in the great lecture hall of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Alicante, was held a series of five lectures on the theme “Quixote in the Spanish Century of Enlightenment.” The participants were Antonio García Berrio (Complutense University, Madrid), Joaquín Álvarez Barrientos (Institute of the Spanish Language, CSIC), Françoise Etienvre (Centre for Research on Contemporary Spain, Paris), Pedro Álvarez de Miranda (Autonomous University, Madrid) and Dario Manfredi. The latter's lecture concernedAn Essay on Cervantes by Alexandro Malaspina: the Carta crítica on the Análisis of Vicente de los Ríos. During the event Professors Enrique Gímenez López and Emilio Soler Pascual launched [the first edition of] Alexandro Malaspina's Carta crítica sobre el Quijote.


 Coming Events                                                                           


ª  Prague

An exhibition on the naturalist Tadeusz Haenke will be organized for next Spring. On this occasion a book will be launched which deals with the Malaspina Expedition specifically from the naturalist perspective. We shall pass on more details as soon as they are known.



 Our Archives


ª  The scattered archive of the Ala Ponzone family continues to furnish interesting documents. A friend of the Centro Malaspina has donated an interesting parchment of Pietro Leopoldo of Tuscany reguarding Benedetto Ala Ponzone, brother of Fabio, who fell in battle during 1792.



 Malaspina Research

ª  On the 400th anniversary of the first edition of Don Quixote the University of Alicante has financed the publication of a previously unpublished work by Alexandro Malaspina dealing with Cervantes' novel (see under News of the World). The autograph manuscript, written and edited by the navigator during his sequestration in the fortress of San Antón (La Coruña), is contained in a volume of essays (one of which is still unpublished) held by our Malaspina Archive and Museum. The publication of the manuscript, which according to Prof. Antonio García Berrio reflects with unusual reasonableness, balance and rationality the critical judgments typical of an aristocrat of his time, was overseen by Dario Manfredi and Blanca Sáiz.





Publications Received by the Library of the Centro                                                                        


W. Irving, Vida del Almirante Don Cristóbal Colón, Madrid, Edicciones Itsmo, 1987, 853 pp.

This book, edited by José M. Gómez-Tabanera, also contains numerous appendices by both the author and editor.


R. Menéndez Pidal, La lengua de Cristóbal Colón, Madrid, Espasa-Calpe (Colección Austral), 1978, 148 pp.

This book includes, besides an essay on Columbus' language, various other writings on linguistics.


J.I. González-Aller Hierro, Catálogo-Guía del Museo Naval de Madrid, Madrid, Ministerio de Defensa, Armada Española, vol. II (2000) and III (2003), 303+419 pp.

          These two volumes complete the catalogue, begun in 1996. A gift from the Museo Naval in Madrid. 


A. García de Cèspedes, Regimiento de Navegación,

          Facsimile reprinting of the importante treatise of 1606, produced by the Museo Naval in Madrid eand the Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval (2005). (A gift from the Museo Naval in Madrid).


L. Martín-Merás (ed.), Cosme Damián de Churruca. “Vivió para la humanidad, murió por la patria”, Madrid, Museo Naval, 2005, 128 pp.

          The officer and asrtonomer Churruca fell at Trafalgar and this year his bicentenary was celebrated with an exhibition, of which this book is the catalogue. (A gift from the Museo Naval in Madrid).


Exploradores españoles olvidados del siglo XIX, Madrid, prosegur, 2001, 170 pp.

          This contains various biographies (though without critical apparatus), among which those of Juan Vernacci (by M.B. Bañas Llanos) and José Celestino Mutis (by A. González Bueno) are worthy of mention. A gift of the Sociedad Geográfica Española.


W.E. Parry, Tercer viaje para el descubrimiento de un paso por el noroeste, Madrid, Espasa-Calpe (Colección Austral), 1967, 146 pp.


M. León-Portilla, Visión de los vencidos, Madrid, Historia 16, 1992, 197 pp.


D. de Landa, Relación de las cosas de Yucatán, Madrid, Historia 16, 1992, 187 pp.


F. de Xerez, Verdadera relación de la conquista del Perú, Madrid, Historia 16, 1992, 207 pp.


M. F. Giobellina Brumana, Soñando con los Dogon. En las orígenes de la etnofrafía francesa, Madrid, CSIC, 2005,  394 pp. (A gift from Andrés Galera Gómez).


S. Ramón y Cajal, Reglas y consejos sobre investigación científica, Madrid, CSIC, 2005, 206 pp.

                    Reprinting of the 1999 edition. (A gift from Andrés Galera Gómez).


M. de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Fourth Centenary Edition, Real Academia Española and Asociación de Academias de la çengua Española, 2004, 1250 pp.

          The book also includes several interesting commentaries, among which we make special mention of those by Mario Vargas Llosa and Francisco Rico.


M.A. Faggioli Saletti, Quello che mi è successo mentre son stata nel castello dell’Aquila, Ferrara, Ed. San Giacomo, 2005, 142 pp.

          The story of the Florentine siege of the Castle of Aquila in 1638. At that time ownership of the castle was contested between the brothers Cosimo and Alessandro Malaspina, belonging to the branch of the same name. (A gift from G abriella Girardin.)


E. Rúspoli, Godoy. La lealdad de un gobernante ilustrado, Madrid, Temas de Hoy, 2004. 472 pp.

While the author does not mention the fact, his last name unequivocally marks him as a descendant of Manuel Godoy (whose daughter married a member of that princely family in Rome). This explains the hagiolatrous tone of the whole book, a feature which certainly deserves our indulgence. What cannot be forgiven him, however, is that he blindly follows those who, without ever having read the document by Alexandro Malaspina on the peace with France, accuse him of ambition, vanity and conceit. In this way the author has not written history, but rather has fought against it.




Asclepio. Revista de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia”, LVI (2004), n. 2.

                    As many as five articles deal with Alexander von Humboldt.


Il Polo. Rivista dell’Istituto Geografico Polare Silvio Zavatti”, LX (2005), n. 2.

We give particualr mention to the article by R. Friolo, Le rappresentazioni fantastico-congetturali ricondotte al settore artico della terra di Francesco Giuseppe (pp.7-22).

Pedant's Corner





                                     To end 2005, the object of our pedantry this time is none other than ... Alexandro Malaspina!

In his essay, so far unpublished, Meditación filosófica en una mañanita di primavera sobre la existencia de un bello esencial e invariable en la naturaleza,he wrote that the man who, in his opinion, best embodied the ideal concept of beauty was the bullfighter Diego Romero, since he was strong in body, with courage and modesty written on his features, a noble and innocent look that denoted a virtuous life, a mind free of regrets and a heart tempered to the point of being able to look death in the face without fearing it. (see the manuscript, Note Y, pp. 126-127).

Evidently Malaspina had attended one of Romero's bullfights and had been favourably impressed, but unfortunately not to the point of having remembered his name!

Or perhaps he made a simple slip: the bullfighter was, in fact, calld Pedro and not Diego. To our friends and readers we offer one of the two portraits of him painted by Goya.




Centro di Studi Malaspiniani “Alessandro Malaspina” – Mulazzo (MS) . ITALIA


Piazza Malaspina, 2  Tel. +39.0187.439712