The History of the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards
Publisher: Printed for T Woodward
2 volumes. x+479 pages with foldout frontispiece portrait of Hernan Cortez, four foldout plates and two fold out maps. xii+475+[1 ad] pages with two foldout plates. Octavo (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") bound in original full leather with with gilt fillet borders on covers, the spine in six compartments separated by six raised bands, black morocco gilt lettering piece in one and the rest gilt-ruled (Field 1465, Sabin 86490, Palau: VI 530) First octavo edition.
Originally published in Spanish in 1684, the first English edition was published in 1724.
In 1661 Antonio de Solis was appointed to succeed Antonio de Leon Pinelo as chronicler of the Indies. He was a native of Alcala and had studied classics, philosophy, and laws there and in Salamanca. He served as secretary to the Conde de Oropesa and, after 1654, as Oficial of the first Secretariat of State. His writings prior to his appointment as chronicler were of a literary nature, principally dramatic and poetic. His work as chronicler showed the influence of his literary background. He at first intended to write a continuation of Herrera's Historia. In preparing himself for this he found a prejudice in the works of foreigners and his own nation that he decided to rewrite the story of the conquest of Mexico, which he found most in need of revision. His work, therefore, was affected by two elements which damaged its historical value: his desire to write a well-balanced literary work and his determination to defend the Spanish national honor.The result of his labors was his Historia de la conquista de Mexico, poblacion y progreso de la Amerique Septentrional conocida con el nombre Nueva Espana, which appeared in 1684. The actual content of the work does not come up to the indications of the title. Solis was able to complete only the first part, which told the history of the conquest of Mexico, 1519-1521. He was working on the continuation of the work when he died in Madrid in 1686.Solis' Historia has been called a poem without verse, as it is written in epic style, with a great central hero and with the facts selected according to the needs of the story. It became the first standard literary version of the Conquest until Prescott's history and other later works. It went through numerous Spanish editions and was translated in the major European tongues.... A lengthy study of Solis and his history, by Luis A. Arocena, saw publication in Buenos Aires in 1963. (Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 13 )
Book plate to front paste down, previous owner's name on front end papers, skillfully rebacked, corners bumped with some chipping to some else a very nice set.
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