The History of the New World
Penn State UP 2017
The History of the New World is an abridged, unique English translation of sixteenth-century Italian merchant Girolamo Benzonis popular account of his adventures in the Americas and the Spanish colonies.
First published in Venice in 1565, Benzonis book was an immediate best seller and available in at least five languages before the end of the century. It spanned the years 154156, providing detailed descriptions of native flora and fauna, exciting narration of harrowing exploits, and a surprisingly critical perspective on the expanding Spanish Empires methods of conquest and governance, in which Benzoni highlighted the struggles of indigenous peoples. This edition follows the three-book structure of the original account but focuses on Benzonis own experiences, omitting episodes to which he was not a witness and excising repetition and hyperbolic hearsay.
The first English-language version published since 1847, this volume includes an informative introduction and annotations that situate Benzoni and his fascinating writings in the larger context of Spanish colonial conquest. Perfect for classroom use, this is a lively, vivid firsthand account of the adventure and wonder of the New World.