Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1680-1755) UK author, apparently a Catholic priest, the author for reasons only partly didactic of one of the first Lost World novels in the literature; it is probably the first to suggest that the lost race in question may be Ancient Egyptians. Published anonymously, the book is described on the title page as a translation from the Italian. Its title, which is long, constitutes a synopsis: The Memoirs of Sigr Guadentio di Lucca: Taken from His Confession and Examination Before the Fathers of the Inquisition at Bologna in Italy. Making a Discovery of an Unknown Country in the Midst of the Vast Deserts of Africa as Ancient, Populous, and Civilized, as the Chinese (1737) [for remainder of subtitle, and for 1748 vt, see Checklist]. It may be added that Sigr di Lucca spends much of his life quite happily in the Lost World of Mezzorania, deep in unknown Africa, and dominated by the great City of Phor, whose wheel-like shape (all main roads radiate from the central Temple of the Sun) seems certainly based on the ideal city of Tommaso Campanella. Mezzorania is governed on Utopian principles. The Religion is superior to Christianity or Islam, we are told. The Sex, as well, is very good – there is no She figure in the tale, which in other ways as well fails to prefigure the misogyny of the Lost World tale in the nineteenth century; di Lucca marries, has children, returns to Italy after twenty years to report on his journey, but only after his family has died. [JC]
born Hope under Dynmore [now Hope under Dinmore], Herefordshire: 21 January 1680
died London: 16 April 1755
- The Memoirs of Sigr Guadentio di Lucca: Taken from His Confession and Examination Before the Fathers of the Inquisition at Bologna in Italy. Making a Discovery of an Unknown Country in the Midst of the Vast Deserts of Africa, as Ancient, Populous, and Civilized, as the Chinese. With an Account of their Antiquity, Origine, Religion, Customs, Polity, &c and the Manner How They Got First Over those Vast Deserts. Interspers'd with Several most Surprizing and Curious Incidents. Copied from the Original Manuscript kept in St Mark's Library, at Venice: With Critical Notes of the Learned Signor Rhedi, late Library-Keeper of the said Library. To which is Prefix'd, a Letter of the Secretary of the Inquisition, to the Same Signor Rhedi, Giving an Account of the Manner and Causes of his Being Seized. Faithfully Translated from the Italian by E T Gent (London: T Cooper at the Globe, 1737) [hb/nonpictorial]
- The Adventures of Sigr Guadentio di Lucca: Being the Substance of his Examination before the Fathers of the Inquisition at Bologna in Italy. Giving an Account of an Unknown Country in the Midst of the Deserts of Africa, The Origine and Antiquity of the People, Their Religion, Customs, Polity, and Laws. Copied From the Original Manuscript in St. Mark's Library at Venice. With Critical Notes of the Learned Signor Rhedi, Sometime Keeper of the Said Library. To Which is Prefixed, A Letter of the Secretary of the Inquisition, Shewing the Reasons of Signor Gaudentio's Being Apprehended, And the Manner of It. Faithfully Translated From the Italian (London: Printed for W Innys, R Manby, H S Cox and M Cooper, 1748) [vt of the above: hb/nonpictorial]
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