Garcilaso de la Vega, known as """", lived 400 years ago and was the son of a Spanish conqueror and an Inca princess. He fused the two races and cultures of Peru and wrote what is probably that country's greatest literary treasure, the Comentarios Reales. Now newly edited from the only existing English translation, Sir Charles Markham's 1860 one, and brilliantly introduced and redefined by explorer Alain Gheerbrant, these ""Royal Commentaries"" fully testify to the almost mythical aura built up around them, principally through the Spanish and French salon enthusiasts and the works of the renowned Latin American historian Actually the 10 books, (Gheerbrant himself refurbished the final one), are much more than an indispensable guide to the socio-cultural tapestry of an empire; they are really a vast architectonic examination of the Peruvian spirit, a fully realized reconciliation of the author's heritage and its opposing elements, and a dazzling baroque reflection of the tribes and Inca tragedy, the New World conquistadors and sun-god emperors. The first part traces the ancient civilization and conquests of Manco Capac and the imperial city of Cuzco, through to the fratricidal struggles of Capac descendants and the arrival of the Spaniards; the second delineates Pizarro's maiden voyage and the bloody civil wars. Carcilaso left Peru at 21, never to return again; his writing, therefore, is akin to the Proustian total recall both in metaphor and impetus; it is also a profoundly religious mediation extending Christ's redemption to the Indians, a lyric chronicle of a lost people and a fund of anthropological knowledge and interests. Undoubtedly a remarkable addition to any library.