OVIEDO Y VALDÉS, Gonzalo Hernandez de (d.1557). La historia general de las Indias. Sevilla: Juan Cromberger, 18 December 1535.
4o (263 x 194 mm). Woodcut title printed in red and black with large woodcut coat-of-arms of Charles V, half-page woodcut arms of Christopher Columbus on fol. 10r, full-page woodcut arms of Oviedo on last page, woodcut illustrations in text, depicting flowers, cacti, leaves, animals, native canoes, tools and habitations. (Lacks text leaf z8, title with lower margin renewed and tear along fore-edge crossing border repaired on verso, other marginal repairs, mainly in gathering o, some worming in gatherings b & c and t & v affecting some letters, tear crossing text on d1, some occasional dampstaining, some headlines shaved.) Contemporary vellum, manuscript title on spine (endpapers renewed). Provenance: early marginalia (some pasted over at an early date).
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR as in most copies (including the Wagner-Doheny and Huntington copies) on fol. 193r: "Hernandez" with elaborate paraph.
"Gonzalo Hernández Oviedo y Valdes [was] an eye-witness to the events on the isthmus which directly led to the discovery of Peru. He went out with the governor Padrádis in 1513, and was at Panama when Pizarro and Almagro were fitting out their first expedition. He afterwards resided for many years in Hispaniola, and at his death, in 1557, held the position of Chronicler of the Indies He gives a vivid picture of conditions as they then existed, and his work, which possesses considerable literary merit, is a vast storehouse of facts relating to the times. This is the source from which most literary writers have drawn their accounts of the early occurrences in the New World" (Church 71). Alden & Landis 535 12; Arents 4; Harrisse 207; JCB (3) I:118; Medina Hispano-Americana 97; Nissen ZBI 3032; Palau 89528; Sabin 57988.