400-year-old pirate copy of playwright Lope de Vega’s work discovered

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400-year-old pirate copy of playwright Lope de Vega’s work discovered
Its release probably predates the official version

PIRATED copies of works are nothing new, and proof of this is an illegally edited book by Lope de Vega, approximately 400 years old has, which has recently been discovered.

It is a first version of “El Castigo sin Venganza” (Punishment without Revenge) which was later discarded by the author, but was taken an edited illegally.

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Researchers from the Autonomous Universities of Barcelona, ​​Valladolid and Salamanca have identified in the National Library of Spain this work which is unique in the world.

Lope de Vega was almost 70 years old when he completed the book on August 1, 1631.

The official manuscript, by the writer himself, is preserved in the Boston Public Library, which is considered by experts to be a jewel, since it contains deletions, additions, corrections and rewrites, giving an insight into the writer’s creative process.


Now, what would have been the first version of it has been found in an important collection of theatrical works at the Spanish National Library which researchers continue to study.

It has no official printing data, but may have been released even before the first editions of the work which were known until now.

Even the name is slightly different, as it was released as “Un Castigo sin Venganza” instead of “El Castigo sin Venganza”. It also contains the first version of the ending, which Lope de Vega later crossed out in many places and perfected, the researchers have explained. There are other differences and the team believes that it could have been an early version given to actors who were due to stage the play.



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