The Widow of Don José Bernado de Hogal

Juan de Abreu (fl. 1716–1738).
Desagravios dolorosos de María por los agravios ignominiosos de Christo.
Mexico: Widow of Don José Bernardo de Hogal, 1745. (BRB0893)

The widow of José Bernardo de Hogal was perhaps the most important printer in Mexico City from 1741 to 1755. Her husband established a press in 1724 that earned a reputation as one of the finest in the city. When he died in 1741, his widow assumed control of the enterprise and presumably worked mainly as the business manager, taking on projects and financial risks while overseeing the editing and production. Her prolific press issued the nation’s second newspaper, the Mercurio de México, numerous handsome books, and less expensive religious tracts.

This brief devotional text in Spanish, intended to focus meditation on the sufferings of Christ and the sorrows of the Virgin Mary, was approved by Mexico City’s Franciscan Order for publication at the Hogal press. Although the text had appeared in at least four previous editions, the book was censored by the Holy Office of the Inquisition at a later date. The beginning of a prohibited quotation from St. Bridget’s Revelationes has been deleted in brown ink and two subsequent leaves have been torn out. The text continues with a “Charter of Servitude,” into which the owner of the book, María Josepha de la Santissima Trinidad, has inscribed her own name as she swears to be a humble and devoted follower of the Virgin Mary.

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Printers, Illustrators, and Scribes, 17th–19th Centuries
The Widow of Don José Bernado de Hogal