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The Conquest of New Spain (1568)

by Bernal Díaz del Castillo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,647217,897 (4.03)49
Vivid, powerful and absorbing, this is a first-person account of one of the most startling military episodes in history: the overthrow of Montezuma's doomed Aztec Empire by the ruthless Hernan Cortes and his band of adventurers. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, himself a soldier under Cortes, presents a fascinatingly detailed description of the Spanish landing in Mexico in 1520 and their amazement at the city, the exploitation of the natives for gold and other treasures, the expulsion and flight of the Spaniards, their regrouping and eventual capture of the Aztec capital.… (more)
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» See also 49 mentions

English (11)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (3)  French (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The history of the Spanish Conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) state is enlivened by this edition and translation of the sixteenth Century memoir by a participant. Bernal Diaz de Castillo was a medium rank officer in that epic struggle, and was driven by his ego and by some legal grudges to add his account to the other books covering the period. J.M. Cohen produced a very readable translation, and assures the reader that he has excised a considerable amount of the original text which directly attacks several other historians and which describes the legal maneuvers that some of the original members of Cortes' army were driven to while trying to get their fair share of the booty of the conquest. Bernal Diaz's book provides a great deal of the colour that later historians have relied on. It is a book which a researcher in the field should pay respect to for its coverage. Cohen's introduction and notes are very high quality. Sadly, my Penguin copy does not rise to the luxury of an index, though the mapping is adequate. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 16, 2020 |
Pretty damn boring. I read it because Werner Herzog cites it as one of his favourite books. I've duly noted that I need to be wary, in the future, of his recommendations... ( )
  theforgottenworks | Jul 20, 2018 |
Printed letterpress in Mexico.
finely illustrated by Miguel Covarrubias.
Signed by the printer, illustrator and editor.
316/1500.
Fine watermarked laid paper.
Rebound by Shepherds in full acid etched hewitt calfskin with marbled endpapers. ( )
  Drfreddy94 | May 19, 2018 |
An absolutely amazing first-person account of the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish. A must read for anyone interested in the subject. ( )
  dwhill | Apr 23, 2013 |
Sometimes extraordinary events are fortuitously recorded by a well placed participant. In this case, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, describes the 16th century Spanish discovery and defeat of the Mexican empire in an account that is so compelling that it is difficult to put down.
The basic facts are not disputed, and reveal the extraordinary military valour of Cortez and most of his men. He gives weight to existing tribal conflicts, the role of religious beliefs and also illustrates Cortez's manipulative cunning and great love of love of gold, even going as far as cheating his own men. ( )
1 vote Miro | Nov 6, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (118 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernal Díaz del Castilloprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cohen, John MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García, GenaroEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Idell, AlbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maudslay, A. P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Narciß, Georg A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serés, GuillermoEditor Literariosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, HughIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, citizen and governor of the most loyal city of Santiago de Guatemala, one of the first discoverers and conquerors of New Spain and its provinces, and of the Cape of Honduras and Higueras, native of the most noble and famous city of Medina del Campo, and son of its former governor Francisco Díaz del Castillo, known as the Courteous - and his legal wife Maria Diez Rejon - may their souls rest in glory! - tell you the story of myself and my comrades; all true conquerors, who served His Majesty in the discovery, conquest, pacification, and the settlement of new Spain; one of the finest regions of the New World yet discovered, this expedition being undertaken by our own efforts, and without his Majesty's knowledge.

Penguin Classics translation by J. M. Cohen, 1963.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo, the last survivor of the Conquerors of Mexico, died on his estates in Guatamala at the age of eighty-nine, as poor as he had lived.

Penguin Classics introduction by J. M. Cohen, 1963.
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Vivid, powerful and absorbing, this is a first-person account of one of the most startling military episodes in history: the overthrow of Montezuma's doomed Aztec Empire by the ruthless Hernan Cortes and his band of adventurers. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, himself a soldier under Cortes, presents a fascinatingly detailed description of the Spanish landing in Mexico in 1520 and their amazement at the city, the exploitation of the natives for gold and other treasures, the expulsion and flight of the Spaniards, their regrouping and eventual capture of the Aztec capital.

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