CORTES by

CORTES

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled: The Life of the Conqueror of Mexico by his Secretary, this magnificent book, first published in Spain in 1552 and here appearing in its first English translation since 1578, gives a first-hand account of Cortes' invasion of Mexico and his capture and murder of the Emperor ""Montezuma"". Born in Spain of noble family in 1485, Cortes, a stubborn, quarrelsome, haughty man who loved women, good food and gold, went to the ""Indies"" (Cuba) in 1504 and later sailed for Mexico with a small army -- and horses -- to find gold. After encountering friendly and hostile natives and seeing the horrors of human sacrifice, he reached Mexico City where ""Montezuma"" came to greet him; ""walking under a pallium of gold and green feathers strung about with silver hangings"". Although he admired Montezuma, Cortes, warned of treachery, arrested and killed him, conquered the entire country, baptized and enslaved the natives, and annexed untold treasures. ""Never,"" states Comara, whose hero was Cortes, ""did a captain with such a small army do so many deeds and win so many victories, and win such a vast empire."" A book fresh with the wonder of a new world, this tale of plunder and bloodshed, treachery and gold, has long been mined by historians. In this fine translation it will appeal to all students of Mexican and early American history, and belongs in all collections of Mexicana.

Publisher: University of California Press