Argensola, Bartolome Leonardo de
Conquista de las Islas Malucas
Madrid : Alonso Martin, 1609. Small folio, contemporary limp vellum (somewhat cockled, lacking ties), endpapers sympathetically renewed, engraved title page, expertly remargined on the fore and lower edges with penwork in facsimile, to include the imprint at lower border (which is usually trimmed), folded, pp [x], 407 (but: 411; 316-319 numbered twice); decorative initials, head- and tail-pieces; side notes; title with small repairs, but clean and fresh throughout, a very good copy.
First edition of Argensola’s classic early history of the Philippines, the author’s principal work.
‘Few narratives are written with so much judgment and elegance […] One of the most important works for the history of the Philippine islands […] The book also contains matter relating to Sir Francis Drake and American voyages, and to the history of Spanish and Portuguese exploration in the Indies’ (Cox).
The Spanish historian Argensola (1562-1631), who had been commissioned by the Council of the Indies to write a comprehensive account of Spanish voyages and discoveries in Asia as well as conflicts with the Dutch and English, had access to all relevant manuscript material in public and private hands, and his account is based on the first-hand descriptions of eyewitness travellers. The greater part of the book is devoted to the Philippines and Moluccas, but there is also much information on Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, the Celebes and China.
Palau 16089; Cox I, 284; Pardo de Tavera 121; Sabin 1946