17 November 2004
ARGENSOLA, Bartolome Leonardo y (1562-1631). Conquista de las Islas Malucas. Madrid: Alonso Martin, 1609.
2° (298 x 201mm). Engraved title by P. Perret, woodcut initials and ornaments. (Occasional spotting and staining.) Contemporary limp vellum with manuscript title on spine and remnants of ties (recased with new endpapers, slit in spine slightly affecting first word of title).
FIRST EDITION of this history of Spain's fight for control of the Moluccas. Regarded by Hill as an 'essential work for the history of Spanish and Portuguese exploration in the East Indies', Argensolas's narrative is noted for its breadth of knowledge and over-all grasp of world politics. 'In his digressions on people and places,' writes Lach (Asia in the making of Europe, III, pp. 311-12), 'Argensola adds significantly to the stockpile of information on Asia, especially on the Moluccas, Java, Sumatra, and Ceylon. His book also ties together neatly the affairs of Europe with struggles in the overseas areas, for he sees the spice trade in its world wide ramifications and makes his reader acutely aware of its immediate and potential interest for Japan and China.' Brunet I, 419; Palau 16089; Sabin 1946.
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