• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 293

    LOPEZ DE GOMARA, Francisco (1510-ca 1560). The Pleasant Historie of the Conquest of the Weast India, now called new Spayne, Atchieved by the worthy Prince Hernando Cortes, Marques of the valley of Huaxacac, most delectable to Reade. Translated from Spanish into English by Thomas Nicholls (ca 1523-1612). London: Henry Bynneman, [1578].

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    LOPEZ DE GOMARA, Francisco (1510-ca 1560). The Pleasant Historie of the Conquest of the Weast India, now called new Spayne, Atchieved by the worthy Prince Hernando Cortes, Marques of the valley of Huaxacac, most delectable to Reade. Translated from Spanish into English by Thomas Nicholls (ca 1523-1612). London: Henry Bynneman, [1578].

    8o (184 x 127 mm). Woodcut printer's device on title, ornamental initials. (Title with fore-margin renewed, short marginal repaired tear on final leaf crossing a few letters.) Black morocco, spine paneled and gilt, edges gilt, by W. Pratt.

    SCARCE AND IMPORTANT NEW WORLD HISTORY BY CORTÉS'S PRIVATE AND DOMESTIC CHAPLAIN

    FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, translating Lopez de Gomara's La conquista de Mexico, the second part of his Historia general de las Indias, first published 1553. It is this second part, relating to Cortés's conquest of Mexico, by which the author is best known.

    Gomara was one of the earliest and ablest of the Spanish historians of the New World. In 1540 he was the chaplain and secretary of Cortés, a position which gave him access to many documents which have since disappeared and informed his texts. This unparalleled access to documentary evidence makes Lopez de Gomara's text the richest history of the extraordinary exploits surrounding the overthrow of the Aztec empire. "The first of [Thomas] Nicholls's translations was The Pleasant Historie of the Conquest of the West India, now called New Spayne, printed in 1578 with a dedication to Walsingham that revealed it was not based on the original Spanish version of 1552 but on an Italian translation by Agostino de Cravaliz" (Oxford Biographical Dictionary). Alden & Landis 578/41; Church 123; JCB (3) II:271; Sabin 27751; STC 16807; Streit II:948.


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