The Conquest of New Spain

Bernal Díaz del Castillo - Author

John M. Cohen - Translator

John M. Cohen - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140441239 | 416 pages | 30 Aug 1963 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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 ‘Whenever we fired our guns, the Indians gave great shouts and whistles, and threw up straw and earth so that we could not see what harm we had done them’

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. The Conquest of New Spain has a compelling immediacy that brings the past and its characters to life and offers a unique eye-witness view of the conquest of one of the greatest civilizations in the New World.

J. M. Cohen’s translation is supplemented by an introduction and maps of the conquered territory.

The Conquest of New Spain - Bernal Diaz

Translated with an Introduction by J. M. Cohen

Map of Mexico City and Lake Texcoco
Preliminary Note
The Expedition of Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba
The Expedition of Juan de Grijalva
The Expedition of Hernando Cortes: Preparations
The Voyage
Doña Marina's Story
A Pause on the Coast
The Stay at Cempoala
The Foundation of Vera Cruz
The March to Cingapacinga and Return to Cempoala
Events at Vera Cruz: The Destruction of the Ships
The Tlascalan Campaign
Peace with Tlascala: Embassies from Mexico
The March to Mexico
The Entrance into Mexico
The Stay in Mexico
Montezuma's Captivity
Cortes in Difficulties
The Flight from Mexico
Cortes Collects Fresh Strength
Expeditions around the Lake
The Siege and Capture of Mexico

Map of the March from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico
Map of the Coastline of Mexico

‘He is among chroniclers what Defoe is among novelists’ – W. H. Prescott