Celestina

an anonymous tragicomedy, a translation of Fernando de Rojas's Spanish original “La Celestina”


About the Play

This play is apparently a lost translation of Fernando de Rojas’ groundbreaking Spanish pocket drama, La Celestina, now known only from an entry in the Stationers’ Register for October of 1598.

Two other pre-1700 English versions of Rojas’ work do survive: the anonymous interlude The Beauty and Good Properties of Women, usually dated to around 1530, and James Mabbe’s The Spanish Bawd, first printed in 1631. Another lost version, called Calistus, is referenced by Anthony Munday in his 1580 Second and Third Blast of Retreat from Plays and Theaters.


References from Secondary Sources

  • Edward Arber, ed., Stationers' Register (1875)

    bto Octobris

    William Aspley Entred for his copie vnder the handes of master Samuel harsnett, a booke intituled The tragicke Comedye of Celestina. | wherein are discoursed in most pleasant stile manye Philosophicall sentences and advertisementes verye necessarye for younge gentlemen Discoveringe the sleightes of treacherous servantes and the subtile cariages of filthye bawdes. | vj d.

    Entry for October 5, 1598.

  • James O. Halliwell, A Dictionary of Old English Plays (1860)

    CELESTINA. “The Tragie Comedye of Celestina, wherein are discoursed in most pleasant style many philosophicall sentences and advertisements, very necessarye for younge gentlemen, and discoveringe the sleights of treacherous servants, and the subtle cariages of filthye bawdes.” This tile is entered on the books of the Stationers’ Company, October 5, 1598, by William Aspley; but whether printed or not, we are unable to say.

  • William Carew Hazlitt, The Play-Collector's Manual (1892)

    Celestina: The Tragi-Comedy of Celestina, wherein are discoursed in most pleasant style many philosophical sentences and advertisements, very necessary for young gentlemen, and discovering the sleights of treacherous servants, and the subtle carriages of filthy bawdes. Entered at Stationers’ Hall, October 5, 1598, by William Aspley.

    Compare Beauty of Women.