Third Edition, Cologne. Gervinus Calenius & Haeredes of Quentel, 1574., small 4to, [173 x 110mm],,655, pp. numerous decorated initials, Contemporary Full Red Calf, Gilt.
The term “New World” was first used for the Americas in this book by Peter Martyr, the royal historian for the court of Spain. Originally published in 1516, it contained the first accounts of the Spanish voyages of exploration and conquest. Martyr personally interviewed Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés and other European explorers. He also spoke to Indians who returned with them to Spain. These accounts spread the news of the New World rapidly throughout Europe, thanks to the newly invented printing press. In 1555, Richard Eden published the first English translation of this book. Martyr’s book may have been the first to mention California (then thought to be an island in the Pacific)
An important edition of Martyr, including all of his most important texts on New World discovery. Besides all of the chronicles Martyr wrote as official historian of the Indies from 1511 to 1534, it adds two important works: Martyr’s 1521 Basel letter, which contains the text of the lost first Cortés letter describing his initial landing and forays into Mexico; and Damiao de Goes’ work, originally published in 1544.
Sabin 1588; European Americana 574/1