[ Joseph Blanco White (born José María Blanco y Crespo), Spanish author and poet. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('J. Blanco White') to 'Miss Jordan', giving advice regarding her Spanish studies, and revealing his attutude to his native language.

Joseph Blanco White [ born José María Blanco y Crespo ] (1775-1841), Spanish author and poet settled in England, associated with the Oxford Movement
Publication details: 
Place not stated [ Oxford ]. 5 July 1829.
SKU: 19722

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with small strip of mount obscuring part of a couple of words on reverse of second leaf. A good letter of forty-nine lines, revealing White's attitude to his native language. He is answering her queries regarding her Spanish studies, and is sending a 'small parcel' to 'lay the foundation' of her 'Spanish Library'. He explains: 'You need not be shocked at the apparent weight of the obligation. I never read a Spanish book if I can help it. It is too painful for me, and I really wish I could forget the language. But as the Booksellers are not aware of this morbid feeling they have frequently sent me presentation copies of their Spanish editions, so that I am enabled to gratify such of my friends, as are fond of Spanish literature, without any exertion of liberality on my part.' He recommends 'MacHenry's' grammar, and 'an excellent Spanish and French Dictitionary by Nunez Taboada', but he cannot judge of Spanish and English dictionaries, as he 'always could make my way without comparing my native with my adopted language'. He advises her to 'begin by comparing the Bible and the Prayer Book in both languages. In a few weeks you will be surprised to find that you understand the History of Mexico by Solis. At that period of your studies you may use any Dictionary for the words with which you may still be unacquainted. […] When you find Solis easy, you may attempt Don Quixote with the assistance of an English and French translation.' In a postscript he expresses the hope that he will be able to call on her before she leaves Oxford.