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About this product
- Description'The Conquest of New Spain' is the first-person narrative of Bernal Diaz del Castillo (1492-1581), the 16th-century military adventurer, conquistador, and colonist settler, who served in three Mexican expeditions; those of Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba (1517) to the Yucatan peninsula; the expedition of Juan de Grijalva (1518), and the expedition of Hernan Cortes (1517) in the Valley of Mexico; the history relates his participation in the fall of Emperor Moctezuma II, and the subsequent defeat of the Aztec empire. In the colonial history of Latin America, The Conquest of New Spain is a vivid, military account that establishes Bernal Diaz del Castillo among chroniclers what Daniel Defoe is among velists. Late in life, when Diaz del Castillo was eighty-four years old, and residing in his encomienda estates in Guatemala, he wrote The True History of the Conquest of New Spain to defend the story of the common-soldier conquistador within the histories about the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He presents his narrative as an alternative to the critical writings of Fr. Bartolome de Las Casas, whose Indian-native histories emphasized the cruelty of the conquest; and the histories of the hagiographic biographers of Hernan Cortes - specifically that of Francisco Lopez de Gomara, whom he believed minimized the role of the 700 enlisted soldiers who were instrumental to conquering the Aztec empire. That said historians and hagiographers speak the truth neither in the beginning, r the middle, r the end, is why Diaz del Castillo strongly defended the actions of the conquistadors, whilst emphasising their humanity and honesty in his eyewitness narrative, which he summarised as: We went there to serve God, and also to get rich. The history is occasionally uncharitable about Captain Cortes, because, like other professional soldiers who participated in the Conquest of New Spain, Diaz del Castillo found himself among the ruins of Techtitlan only slightly wealthier than when he arrived to Mexico; a financial state common to many soldiers, who accused Cortes of taking more loot than his agreed fifth of the Aztec treasury. Certainly, the land and gold compensation paid to many of the conquistadores proved a poor return for their investment of months of soldiering and fighting across Mexico and the Anahuac Valley. Ather interpretation of The Conquest of New Spain proposes that the author was one of several family relatives of Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, the goverr of Cuba, and mortal enemy of Cortes; many of whom later plotted against the conquistador Captain. Although the narrative thrust diminishes the Cortes-Diaz del Castillo relationship, contrary to the factual record, his complex relationship with Cortes, and the sub-ordinate captains, suggests that, although he represented the faction of Goverr Velazquez de Cuellar in the expedition, Bernal Diaz del Castillo fully houred his personal and military loyalty to Hernan Cortes.
- Author BiographyBernal Diaz del Castillo (1492 to 1498, birth date is uncertain, - 1584) was a Spanish conquistador, who participated as a foot soldier in the conquest of Mexico with Hernan Cortes. In his later years he was an encomendero and governor in Chiapas and Guatemala where he wrote his memoirs called The True History of the Conquest of New Spain. He began his account of the conquest almost thirty years after the events and later revised and expanded it in response to the account published by Cortes's chaplain Francisco Lopez de Gomara, which he considered to be largely inaccurate in that it did not give due recognition to the efforts and sacrifices of common soldiers.
- Author(s)Bernal Diaz Del Castillo
- PublisherCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Date of Publication13/05/2014
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectRegional History
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight476 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine19 mm
- Translated byJohn Ingram Lockhart
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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