The Improbable Conquest: Sixteenth-Century Letters from the Río de la Plata

Paperback | December 22, 2014

EditorPablo García Loaeza, Victoria L. Garrett

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The Improbable Conquest offers translations of a series of little-known letters from the chaotic Spanish conquest of the Río de la Plata region, uncovering a rich and understudied historical resource. These letters were written by a wide variety of individuals, including clergy, military officers, and the region’s first governor, Pedro de Mendoza. There is also an exceptional contribution from Isabel de Guevara, one of the few women involved in the conquest to have recorded her experiences. Writing about the conditions of settlements and expeditions, these individuals vividly expose the less glamorous side of the conquest, narrating in detail various misfortunes, infighting, corruption, and complaints. Their letters further reveal the colony’s fraught relationship with the native peoples it sought to colonize, giving insight into the complexities of the conquest and the colonization process. Pablo García Loaeza and Victoria Garrett provide an introduction to the history of the region and the conquest’s key players, as well as a timeline and a glossary explaining difficult and archaic Spanish terms.

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The Improbable Conquest offers translations of a series of little-known letters from the chaotic Spanish conquest of the Río de la Plata region, uncovering a rich and understudied historical resource. These letters were written by a wide variety of individuals, including clergy, military officers, and the region’s first governor, Pedro...

Pablo García Loaeza is Associate Professor of Spanish at West Virginia University.Victoria L. Garrett is Teaching Assistant Professor of Spanish and Director of Latin American Studies at West Virginia University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.34 inPublished:December 22, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271065486

ISBN - 13:9780271065489

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chronology

Introduction

Selected Letters from the Río de la Plata

Pedro de Mendoza to Juan de Ayolas (April 21, 1537)

Isabel Guevara to Princess Juana (July 2, 1556)

Domingo de Irala to Emperor Charles V (March 1, 1545)

Francisco Galán to Rodrigo de Vera (March 1, 1545)

Juan Pavón to Martín de Agreda (June 15, 1556)

Francisco de Andrada to the Council of the Indies (March 1, 1545)

Martín González to Emperor Charles V (June 25, 1556)

Domingo Martínez to Emperor Charles V (July 2, 1556)

Epilogue

Glossary of Spanish Terms

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“The Improbable Conquest offers a highly readable and informative glimpse into an understudied area of the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas. The editors deftly render the voices and concerns of a diverse Spanish population in the early years of the founding of the Río de la Plata—women, clergy, conquistadors, and governors—as a rich dialogue between the Spanish crown, church, local populations, and individual circumstances. The introduction provides a lively narrative of the historical context of the conquest, and the introduction to each primary source situates it within the complexities of colonization and scholarship on the topic. This book offers both scholars and students in a variety of disciplines a trove of primary sources and information.”—Kathleen Myers, Indiana University Bloomington