FRANCISCO CORONADO: and the Seven Cities of Gold by Ronald Syme

FRANCISCO CORONADO: and the Seven Cities of Gold

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It's another excellent biography by the author who has traced the routes of many explorers. Coronado has rarely received the attention he deserves. He never wrote a glowing chronicle of his discoveries as was customary among the Spanish explorers, and since he never found a rich source of gold (he was sure from the start that it didn't exist) he was generally considered a failure by his contemporaries. What he did accomplish was to travel through and to map huge unknown tracts in what is now the western and midwestern United States. The only lengthy first hand account of the expedition comes from Pedro de Castenada, who was a member of the band. (Riding with Coronado, Meredith and Smith (1964, p. 601, J-195) is a good adaptation of his candid, objective journal). The text follows closely on this and other contemporary sources to make a cohesive narrative. There has been, unfortunately, some dramatization of minor events, but for the most part the text draws heavily on direct quotations.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1965
Publisher: Morrow