Ignacio Manuel Altamirano's El Zarco: episodios de la vida mexicana en 1861-1863:
A Manuscript Held by the Benson Latin American Collection
Novelist, poet, journalist. Born 1834 in Tixtla, Mexico; died 1893 in San Remo, Italy. Considered a major contributor to the development of a national literature in Mexico. Major novels include: Clemencia (1869), La navidad en las montañas (1870), and El zarco (1901).
Altamirano also received a law degree; served as representative to the national congress; held the post of professor of the history of philosophy and eloquence in the law school in Mexico City; was elected to the Supreme Court; and founded several newspapers, journals, and societies. He became Mexico's consul general to Spain in 1889 and to France in 1890.
Other positions held include: Professor at Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, Escuela de la Comercio, Escuela de Jurisprudencia, and Escuela Nacional para Maestros, Magistrate of the Suprema Corte de Justicia, Procurador General de la Nación.
Bound holograph manuscript by Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, written during the years 1886-1888, of his last novel, El Zarco: episodias de la vida mexicana en 1861-1863.
The last page bears the author's handwritten and signed note: "He concluido esta novela a las once y veinte minutos de la noche del 6 de abril de 1888. " The title page contains the following information in the author's hand: "Esta novela fué vendida en $200 al Sr. D. Santiago Ballescá en Febrero de 1887, aunque no estaba escrita mas que la mitad de ella, esto es: 13 capítulos que fueron leidos en las sessiones públicas y privadas del Liceo Hidalgo en 1886. El editor se propone publicarla en Barcelona, ilustrada con grabados, sobre dibujos hechos por D. Ramon Cantó."
El Zarco was published posthumously, in 1901.
This manuscript was formerly owned by Luis González Obregon, whose signed note appears on the verso of the title page: "Me regaló este autografo el maestro Altamirano poco antes de salir para Europa."
In 1961 the manuscript was in the possession of Marte R. Gómez. (See María del Carmen Millán's introduction to El Zarco y la navidad en las Montañas, 1966). The manuscript was purchased by the University of Texas in April 1986 from Dorothy Sloan Books.
Prepared by the Mexican Archives Project, November 1994.
Chronology compiled by Ann Hodges, June 13, 1994