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    The First Texian Novel

    A.T. Myrthe [Anthony Ganilh]: Ambrosio de Letinez; or, The First Texian Novel, Embracing A Description Of The Countries Bordering On The Rio Bravo, With Incidents Of The War Of Independence. (New York: Charles Francis & Co., 1842.) Two volumes in one, 192 pp., 8vo. Engraved bookplate of Cambridge Public Library with manuscript discard notation, their small blue ink stamp on two inner leaves; blind-embossed stamp on p. 78. Light to moderate foxing, otherwise fine, in a handsome green full-leather binding with gilt lettering and decoration.

    This is the second and best edition (with an added chapter), of the first Texas novel in English. The first edition was published anonymously in 1838 under the title Mexico versus Texas, and was the first novel to incorporate important historical events such as the Goliad Massacre and the Battle of San Jacinto. It was reissued in 1842 under the title Ambrosio de Letinez and credited to A. T. Myrthe, although its title page lists (Father) Anthony Ganilh.

    The novel's argument is characteristic of the period: the dedication poses the rhetorical question "...whether anything could have taken place more conducive to the regeneration and improvement of Mexico than the success of the Texans."

    Streeter (1414 and 1310n) notes, "The scene of the novel is laid in Mexico and Texas at the time of the Texas Revolution. Throughout there are satires on the Mexican clergy and thinly veiled attacks on the Roman Catholic Church.... There is no doubt that Ganilh occasionally rather enjoyed unsheathing his claws."

    Reference: Streeter 1414 and 1310(n). Eberstadt, Texas 162:322. Wright 1018.

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