VEGA, Garcilaso de la (1539-1616) – BAUDOIN, Jean (1564-1650). Histoire des Yncas, Rois du Perou…On a joint à cette Edition l’Histoire de la Conquete de la Floride. Amsterdam: Jean Frederic Bernard, 1737.

$ 4,500.00

2 volumes. 4to., (10 x 8 inches). Half-title, sectional title page, 10-page publisher’s Advertisement, and engraved vignette above title of Chapter 1 in volume two (occasional spotting throughout). 3 fine folding engraved maps, fine engraved frontispiece in volume one, folding engraved plate, 14 engraved plates (slightly toned). Contemporary brown sheep, the spines in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt lettered in one and decorated in the rest (one or two pale stains and surface abrasions, corners slightly worn).

Provenance: Contemporary manuscript ownership inscriptions, blacked out.

Later French edition, first published in Lisbon in 1609. With the date misprinted as “MDCCXXVII” (1727) in volume two. WITH 3 VERY FINE ENGRAVED MAPS, including “Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississippi” by de l’Isle, “Le Cours de Fleuve Missisipi Selon les Relations les plus modernes” by J. F. Bernard, and a map of Peru. The author, known as “the Inca” to distinguish him from the famous poet of the same name, was the son of the Spanish conquistador Sebastian Garcilaso de la Vega, and of Princess Isabel Chimpu Ocllo, the granddaughter of the last Inca emperor. This translation into French contains Garcilaso’s two works, “The Incas of Peru” and “The Conquest of Florida,” as well as Hennepin’s “Discovery of a Country greater than Europe.”

“…Inca Garcilaso also appears to have been an authentic success in France and the Netherlands, where he was continually translated and reedited between 1633 and 1745. The first part of the ‘Comentarios reales’ appeared in France in 1633 through Jean Baudoin’s translation, entitled ‘Le commentaire royal, or l’histoire des Yncas, Roys du Perou […] Escrite en langue Peruvienne par l’Ynga Garcilasso de la Vega.’ A prolific writer and translator, best known for his French version of Francis Bacon’s Essays, Baudoin (1564-1650) moved in the literary circles of the French court. In spite of his claim that Garcilaso’s work was originally written in the ‘Peruvian language’ (Quechua), one can give credit to Baudoin for noticing that the ‘Comentarios reales’ is a recollection of legendary stories, myths, customs, and laws, translated by Inca Garcilaso from the Quechua language. Quechua, as we know, was the language which Inca Garcilaso imbibed with his mother’s milk – ‘la lengua que mamé en la leche,’ as he repeatedly declares. In his dedicated to Prince Louis de Bourbon, Baudoin praises this ‘very true history,’ which conforms with ‘the style and good sense of the author who wrote it.’ The Incas, claims Baudoin, not only excelled in their natural knowledge of morals and politics, but also in ‘the true institution of the Laws and customs of their Empire.’ Their admirable genius ‘met that of Plato, in order to form the idea of a perfect government, and to give the highest import to public tranquility.’ Baudoin soon followed with his translation of the second part of the ‘Comentarios reales,’ entitled ‘Histoire des guerres civiles Espagnols dans les Indes’ (1650).

“Both French versions of Garcilaso’s histories of Peru experienced tremendous success in early modern France and the Netherlands, where at least twelve editions of ‘Le commentaire royal (Histoire des Yncas)’ and ‘Histoire des guerres civiles des Espagnols’ ensued (Paris: 1633, 1650, 1658, 1672; Amsterdam: 1633, 1704, 1706, 1715, 1737, 1744, and 1745). In addition, Garcilaso’s ‘La Florida del Inca,’ which recounts the history of Hernando de Soto’s tragic Florida expedition, was also translated into French and other languages in this period. The fervor elicited by Garcilaso’s masterpiece resulted in a revised edition of Baudoin’s ‘Histoire des guerres civiles des espagnols dans les Indes,’ published in Amsterdam in 1706. Its editor, Gerald Kuyper affirmed that he had been compelled to reprint Baudoin’s translation in response to the incessant demands of the public” (Di Biase, ed., pp. 211-212).

The fine engraved frontispiece and some of the plates are after Picart, taken from his great work on “The Religions of the World.” Palau 354803, Sabin 98752, Alden 737/98. Carmine Di Biase, ed., “Travel and Translation in the Early Modern Period.”

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