El Buscón de Don Francisco de Quevedo

Paul the Sharper by Francisco de Quevedo

The work in prose was written around 1603 and published in 1626. It conveys a direct and grotesque representation of human misery, and it is an historical novel with strong social criticism definitely one of the most important works by de Quevedo, according to the literary critics.

The main theme of the novel is the social advancement of a swindler.Despite being the son of a barber known for stealing money from his clients and a harlot and witch mother, his objective in life was to learn social virtues and become a gentleman. Nevertheless, a series of unfortunate events make him fail and take him on the wrong path, one of wrongdoing, theft and blackmail.

Among the unique features of the novel, its plot and contents are to highlight – these were inspired by the author’s life experience as a young student. Other features are its penchant for “grotesque”, the caricature of characters, the deep sarcastic humour, the dry and pragmatic style, all mixed together with a series of double entendres.

A distinctive feature of the manuscript is to be found in a handwritten page, which is the last page of the novel, where the author admits to his mistakes in life and regrets them.

The original novel is kept at the Fundación Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid.

More than 12600 paintings, sculptures and silverware dating from the 6th to the 20th century are kept at the Foundation building. The gallery displays many European paintings, but the heart of the Spanish section is the one that gathers Gothic and Renaissance tables, with works from El Greco, Velásquez, Murillo, Carreño and a series of important paintings by Goya.

Limited edition of 995 copies, numbered and notarised.


  • Format: 70 mm x 105 mm (2,8 in x 4 in).
  • Paper unique aged laid paper
  • Quires sewn with plant fibre twine as in the ancient technique.
  • Cut surface of the pages decorated in gold.
  • Bindingin leather with decorations in gold and ribs on the back.
  • Comes in a stylish case.
  • Commentary of the novel in Spanish and translated into Italian.
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