PALAFOX Y MENDOZA, Juan de. Historia de la Conquista de la China por el Tartaro. Escrita Por el Illustrissimo Señor, Don Juan de Palafox y Mendoça, siendo Obispo de la Puebla de los Angeles, y Virrey de la Nueva-España y a su muerte Opispo de Osma.

Price : 4.900,00 

First edition of the account of the conquest of China by the Manchu people given by the Spanish bishop Palafox y Mendoza.
An attractive copy preserved in its original vellum binding.

1 in stock

Paris, Antonio Bertier, 1670.

12 mo [170 x 113 mm] of (6) ll. Including the engraved frontispiece, 388 pp. Small waterstain in the lower corner of pp. 113 to 133. Bound in contemporary vellum, flat spine with the title handwritten, mottled edges. Contemporary binding.

170 x 113 mm.

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First edition of this account of the conquest of China by the Manchu people given by Palafox y Mendoza.

Chadenat, I, 1946 ; R. J. Howgego, Encyclopedia of explorations, to 1800, P9.

A rare work illustrated with one copper engraving” (Chadenat).

The account starts in 1640 with the Chinese civil rebellions. These rebellions started massive clashes, notably in Beijing, and led to the death of the last Ming Emperor, Chongzen, and then to the gradual invasion of China by the Manchu people.

The work deals with the art of war, customs of the Chinese people, their religions… A very interesting chapter (XXIV) deals with the relations between Japan and China, in which the author explains that Japanese fear the Tartars despite their force.

The present work was published after the death of the author, from a manuscript found in his papers. During his nine years stay in Mexico, he had maintained good relations with China.

His work was translated into French and English as early as 1671 et will be reprinted many times in the 17th century.

« Que historia tan rara y tan extraordinaria bien merece estar impresa en todas lenguas, para que el mundo entero esté informado de un sucesso, y una revoluçion tal que no ay exemplo de tan grande en el mundo. » (Avertissement).

Spanish bishop and historian (1600-59). Born in Fítero to a noble Spanish family, he received his education at Huesca and the universities of Alcalá and Salamanca. In 1627 he was appointed as Fiscal del Consejo de Guerra, but his first ecclesiastical position was a treasurer of the Santa Iglesia de Tarazona. Ordained a priest at Salamanca in 1629, he was in 1639 consecrated bishop of Puebla de los Angeles and appointed visitor-general to Mexico. During his term in Mexico, 1640-49, Palafox was in charge of the dispatch of vessels to the Philippines, placing him in an ideal position to collect letters and memorials sent from China to Mexico by way of Macao and Manila. When he returned to Spain in 1649, Palafox started to collate these materials into a ‘Historia de la conquista de la China por el Tartaro’. This was published in Paris in 1670 and is widely regarded as a companion volume to that of Martino Martini. His work is based entirely on letters he received and in no way borrows from Martini, whom he possibly had never read. Palafox was promoted to the bishopric of Osma in 1659 but died the same year.”

(Encyclopedia of explorations, to 1800).

The edition is illustrated with a superb copper engraved frontispiece showing a map of China and of the neighboring countries (Japan, Macao, Corea…), as well as a scene with three armed horsemen and the last Emperor of China kneeling in front of them.

A precious volume preserved in its original vellum binding.

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Paris, Antonio Bertier, 1670.