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"one of the most influential early books on China to be published in Europe"
including a curious description of the New World

[GONZÁLEZ DE MENDOZA, Juan].
Nova et succincta vera tamen historia de amplissimo potentissimoque, nostro quidem orbi hactenus incognito, sed perpaucis abhinc annis explorato Regno China.
Frankfurt am Main, [Sigmund Feyerabend(?), 1589]. 8vo. With two early woodcut Chinese characters on p. 200 and p. 202. Contemporary blind-tooled vellum.
€ 5,000
First Latin edition of Juan González de Mendoza's very popular work on China, "one of the most influential early books on China to be published in Europe" (Reed & Demattè). It offers a detailed description of China together with lengthy accounts of several recent missionary voyages. It was first published in Spanish in 1585, when it was the first European book in which Chinese characters appeared.
"The book's first section is a survey in three sections that introduces China's history, antiquities, architecture, populace, religious beliefs and ceremonies, agriculture, military organization, and government. … Mendoza's volume also contains descriptions of Japan and the Philippines and a chronicle of Spanish missions in the New World" (Reed & Demattè). "According to Nicholas Antonio, the ... Itinerary of the New World ... was written by F. Martin Ignacio, and was never published separately... The itinerary gives curious details concerning the Canaries, St. Domingo, Jamaica, Cuba, Porto Rico, and especially Mexico. Ortelius, in his Atlas, declared that he had received more information concerning America, from this itinerary than from any other single book" (Sabin).
Slightly browned throughout, title-page somewhat soiled and partly detached, otherwise in good condition with some occasional underscoring. Binding stained and with some minor damage to the extremities, but still firm and otherwise good.
Cordier, Sinica, cols. 14-15; Sabin 27781, cf. 27775; VD16 G 2658; cf. Reed & Demattè 1.
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Related Subjects:

Americas  >  Cartography & Exploration | Middle America & Carribean Islands | North America & Mexico
Asia  >  Cartography & Exploration | China | Japan & Far East
Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Early Printing, 15th & 16th Century
Cartography & exploration  >  Americas | Asia | Voyages & Travel