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Titre : Manuscript] Breve Relación de los Señores de...
Éditeur : Mexico City
Date d'édition : 1738
Folio, 30.5 x 21.5 cm, 150 unnumbered leaves (300 pp), manuscript in very clear scribal hand, with scattered contemporary, i.e. 18th century, notes in the margins. ne of three known copies of the lost original manuscript. Zorita (ca 1512 - 1585) was a judge or oidor for Philip II, who spent some 19 years in the New World, the last 10 years in the Audiencia de Nueva Espana, ie. Mexico. His views of the abuses that the encomendero system was inflicting on the native populations were similar to those of Bartolome de las Casas, and like him was a staunch defender of the rights of the "Indios" against the rapacity of the land-ownign Spaniards, the encomenderos. This made him many enemies, who constantly harassed him, but he was well respected for his probity. The latter was proved by his retirement, returning to his native Spain virtually broke. He reported this to the King, and made numerous suggestions on how to improve the condition of the natives, mostly through alleviation of their requirement to pay taxes and having to serve as virtual slaves to their encomenderos. None of his suggestions was followed,and his report to the king became buried in the files of the Archive of the Indies, unpublished in its day and probably never seen by the king. This unpublished royal report was called the Breve Relacion de los Senores de Nueva Espana and portrays Indian life both before the conquest and afterwards, the latter from his own first hand observation. It was written after he had returned from Mexico to Granada, Spain, probably around 1570. The original report, or a copy thereof presumably in Zorita's hand, wound up back in Mexico in the possession of the great Mexican polymath Siguenza y Gongora, and after his death, went into the library at the Jesuit seminary/ convent of SS Pedro y Pablo in Mexico City. Vetancurt and Clavigero mention the report, and Torquemada in Monarquia Indiana refers to an incident that involved Zorita during his residence in Mexico. Zorita was greatly esteemed by the religious orders because of his pro-Indian stance. Boturini came across the manuscript at the seminary of SS Peter and Paul. An Italian nobleman, he had become obsessed with Mexico and formed a remarkable collection of artefact. He found the mss in 1738 and, recognizing its importance, had several copies made; he also mentions it in his book "Idea de una nueva Historia: this is one of those copies. Other Boturini copies in the New York Public Library and the Bibliotheque Nacional in Paris; the location of the original report is unknown. The book was not published until the 19th century, first in a French translation of little value and from a defective Boturini copy, then in 1891 in the Spanish from a copy by the well-known Mexican bibliophile Icazbalceta. The Diccionario Porrua says of Zorita's book:"Como fuente de primera mano es indispensable," an opinion in which every scholar seems to concur. This copy collates perfectly with the authoritative Cabañas edition, but with the annotations and the final leaf which identifies it as a copy made (sacó) by Senor Boturini -- in his own hand?: we have not been able to locate any autograph of Boturini -- in November 1738 from the original found in the library of the Jesuits college mentioned above, on such and such bookcase and shelf; and that a certain Lic. Pensado had noted that he had seen the book in 1683; and further that the original must have come from Spain where the author kept "cogiendo y anadiendo" to it. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, with title material on spine in ink; original ties still present. Paper is fresh, script is very clear and legible. Insignificant worming to a few preliminary blank leaves in upper left corner. Both binding and text are in fine condition. N° de réf. du libraire 7364
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