Fernández de Oviedo's Chronicle of America
A New History for a New World
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
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Note: In an attempt to publish as complete a record as possible of Oviedo’s illustrations in the History, I have drawn on a variety of sources. When possible, I first provide a photograph of images in the extant autograph manuscript (at the RAH and HEH). If the autograph image has been lost, I first use the contemporary Trujillos’ copy (at the BC and PR), which is ...
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Introduction. NEW WORLD, NEW HISTORY AND THE WRITING OF AMERICA
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In 1493 a fourteen-year-old boy serving as a page for the Spanish prince Don Juan stood in awe as Christopher Columbus met with the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella. Columbus unveiled to the royal court in Barcelona his findings from his first voyage, displaying colorful parrots, enticing bits of gold, and native people. ...
ONE. BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: The Life and Writings of Gonzalo Fern
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TWO. A READER’S GUIDE TO A NEW WORLD HISTORY: (Proemio, bk. 1)
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Early in the General and Natural History of the Indies Oviedo proclaims that the route to the Indies and the Indies themselves could not be learned in the great texts of classical antiquity or in the hallowed halls of any of Europe’s best universities. Indeed, the new cosmography that was emerging contradicted the wisdom of the ancients. Information provided by New ...
THREE. THE HISTORIAN AS ACTOR AND AUTOBIOGRAPHER: Tierra Firme 1514 (bk. 29, chap. 6)
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Many modern scholars have commented on Oviedo’s emphatic authorial presence: most describe the text as a heterogeneous, multivoiced narrative. But no scholar has thoroughly analyzed how Oviedo’s first-person interventions serve an evolving purpose, one that often matches the author’s complex administrative and ...
FOUR. EYEWITNESS TO AMERICA’S WONDERS: Illustrating a Natural Historyof the Indies (bk. 7, chap. 14)
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When Oviedo stopped writing about events he had witnessed in Tierra Firme and devoted himself to natural history, to depicting American flora, fauna, and ethnographic items, he confronted a dilemma. How was he to convey in his natural history the particular novelty of the New World to an audience that had never seen ...
FIVE. AMAZON WOMEN AND NEW WORLD REALITIES: Documenting an Expanding World (bk. 6, chap. 33)
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Caught between two eras—one that would recognize the contribution of empiricism to historiography and one that often viewed history as writing a variation of a primal text—Spanish chroniclers of the New World frequently revised traditional historiography, but they rarely broke completely from it. In his efforts to ...
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As we have seen in the last two chapters, the increased availability of information about the natural world and reports from new expeditions led Oviedo to use multiple strategies for revising his text. I noted, for example, the historian’s evolving theory of illustration and his use of Fray Gaspar de Carvajal’s account of Amazon ...
SEVEN. NATIVE AMERICANS IN OVIEDO’S HISTORY: (bk. 29, chap. 26)
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No discussion of Oviedo’s General and Natural History of the Indies would be complete without addressing his controversial representation of Native Americans. Oviedo depicts Native American cultures with the same zeal and detail that inform his portraits of nature and the conquest, often including extensive ethnographic information. ...
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Whether Oviedo was writing about Native Americans, nature, or the conquest and colonization, his personal, political, and methodological concerns were never far from the surface of the narrative. The author’s attempts to maintain the favor of the Crown and establish the truth of his account serve as the underpinnings to his historiographic...
APPENDIX A. Chronology of Fernández de Oviedo’s Life and Works
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APPENDIX B. Map of Hispaniola and Tierra Firme, ca. 1540
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APPENDIX C. Translations of passages from Fernández de Oviedo’s Historia general y natural de las Indias
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APPENDIX D. Table. Historia general y natural Manuscript Locations and llustrations/Woodcuts
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APPENDIX E. Illustrations
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Page Count: 344
Illustrations: 83 b&w figures, 1 map
Publication Year: 2007