'Varios egnimas [enigmas] de los dislates mundanos', a manuscript of Spanish poetry

Scope and Content

A volume of paper leaves in a vellum binding, containing the manuscript of a poem of 546 stanzas entitled 'Varios egnimas [enigmas] de los dislates mundanos'. The text of this poem appears to be a unique exemplar. The poem has a conventional theme of moral folly and wordly absurdities, but one which is developed in the specific context of the Spain of Philip II.

Administrative / Biographical History

There is a strong probability that the text was composed by a Spanish soldier in the Netherlands about 1578. This copy dates from the late sixteenth century and was made, according to a note at the end, by 'le secretaire Jan Fernando de Woorsboelx', who may also have been a native of the Spanish Netherlands. The manuscript was purchased in 1967 from B.L.Gilbert, a Southampton bookseller.

Access Information

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material. See our website for more details.

Separated Material

Although there are two manuscripts in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, entitled 'Varios enigmas' and 'Varias enigmas y versos' (MS 2244 and 4046: Inventario general de manuscritos de la Biblioteca Nacional (1953-) vi, pp. 142-52; x, pp. 252-3), the contents of these are very different.


The text has been edited, with a critical introduction, by M.P.Gorman, 'A critical edition of 'Varios enigmas de los dislates mundanos' (Southampton University Library MS A106), with a study of politico-religious poetry in sixteenth-century Spain' (Univ. of Southampton Ph.D. thesis, 1973).

Geographical Names