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HISTORIA DE LAS COSAS MAS NOTABLES, RITOS Y COSTUMBRES, DEL GRAN REYNO DELA CHINA...CON UN ITINERARIO DEL NUEUO MUNDO
Madrid, 1587. Small octavo. Contemporary calf, rebacked with original gilt backstrip laid down, gilt red morocco label. Binding edgeworn and rubbed, foredge of front board gnawed. Trimmed close, affecting the first word of the title and the running headline in the preliminary material. Ex- lib., with a small ink stamp on the verso of the titlepage and on the colophon page. Faint old stain in upper margin of second part, else quite clean internally. About very good. In a half morocco and cloth box. An early edition of Gonzalez de Mendoza, following the first of 1585, and the second and best edition to contain the Espejo narrative of early exploration in the American Southwest. Antonio de Espejo began his exploration of New Mexico in 1583, in the company of Fray Beltran and fourteen soldiers. The ostensible reason for his expedition was to find Fr. Agustin Rodriguez, who had disappeared in that region the previous year, but much more was accomplished than merely establishing the sad fate of the martyred Franciscan. A true wealth of new information about the traversed territory was garnered, and this is the first publication to include notice of that expedition (found in this edition beginning on leaf 165 of the second part). Most editions of this work do not contain the information about Espejo's New Mexican adventure, and Wagner says that the present edition is only the second with the Espejo narrative, following a Madrid edition of 1586, printed by Querino Gerardo Flamenco. Wagner also notes that many of the errors of that previous edition have been corrected in the present edition, and Palau writes that this edition is considered to be the most complete. Other Americana content in this volume can be found beginning on leaf 147 of the second part, in the section entitled "Itinerario y epitome de todas las cosas notables que ay desde Espana, hasta el Reyno de la China, y de la China a Espana, boluiendo por la India Oriental, despues de auer dado buelta a casi todo el Mundo. En el qual se trata de los ritos, cerimonias, y costumbres de la gente que en todo el ay, y de la riqueza, fertilidad y fortaleza de muchos Reynos, y la descripcion de todos ellos," which is a succinct tour of Cuba, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, and the Philippines. Topics of special interest are natural history, Indian landholding practices, and Spanish cultural developments. Ortelius states in his atlas that he obtained more information about America from this work than from any other single source. In addition to the volume's great Americana content, it offers rich data on China, Japan, the Maluccas (the Spice Islands), and the Philippines. The author (1545-1614) was an Augustinian, but he includes much about the activities of Jesuits and Franciscans, seemingly - and this is notable - in an impartial and unprejudiced manner. Copies of the Spanish language editions of this work that contain the account of the Espejo expedition have become very rare in commerce.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2015-11-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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