SOLIS, Antonio de. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards. London: For John Osborn, 1738.

$ 1,350.00

2 volumes, 8vo., (8 x 5 inches). Engraved title pages. 2 fine folding engraved maps; 6 fine folding engraved plates (some browning). Contemporary mottled calf with gilt fillet borders on covers, the spine in six compartments separated by five raised bands, red morocco gilt lettering piece in one and the rest gilt-ruled (skillfully rebacked, worn with some loss, endpapers renewed).

First octavo edition. Originally published in Spanish in 1684, the first English edition was published in 1724. The most colorful description of this text comes from Field: “This work affords the most minute narration of the slaughter of the Indians of Mexico by the Spaniards, and the prodigies of valor exhibited by iron-mailed warriors in fighting naked savages” (Field 1465).

“This was undoubtedly the most popular history of America that had then been written; and the number of editions published even up to the nineteenth century, in Spanish, French, Italian, English and German, testify to its popularity. His principal sources of inspiration for this history were the letters of Hernan Cortes, the works of Francisco Lopez de Gomara, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, and some miscellaneous documents. In addition to a full account of the relations between Cortes and Montezuma, there is an abundance of data concerning the intimate lives of the Indians.Solis became Secretary to the King of Spain (Charles II) and succeeded Antonio de Leon Pinelo as chief chronicler of the Indies” (Cox, vol. II, p. 239). Field 1465, Sabin 86490, Palau vol. VI 530, JCB cat. 588.