The New World of Martin Cortes

The New World of Martin Cortes

The New World of Martin Cortes

The New World of Martin Cortes

Synopsis

"While researching Malinche's Conquest, Anna Lanyon discovered Malinche had a son, Martin Cortes, remembered by Mexicans as the first mestizo, and was compelled to investigate his story as it is as great an adventure as his mother's. It is a story of journeys between worlds: those of Indian mother and Spanish father, of the Americas and Europe, of feudal past and colonial future. It is also"

Excerpt

When Martín Cortés was born in 1522 the expression 'New World' was almost as young as he was. It had been coined only twenty-nine years earlier when a priest at the royal court of Spain inquired whether Columbus might accidentally have found a novi orbus, a new world, rather than India.

We know now that the priest was right—the landfall Columbus made in 1492, and the larger continent he skirted on his final voyage ten years later, were not India but parts of what would soon be called the 'Americas'. Yet the name 'las Indias' lingered on Spanish and Portuguese tongues. It occurs throughout the sixteenth-century references in this book, and persists to this day in the English terms 'West Indies' for the islands of the Caribbean, and 'Indian' for the Indigenous people of the Americas.

Martín Cortés was among the first children born in Mexico to an Amerindian mother and Spanish father in the aftermath of the Conquest. in that sense he was a true child of the New World. But when he arrived in Spain at the age of six, he entered another new world, for Europe at that time was caught up in the whirlwind of change we call the 'Renaissance', literally, the 'rebirth'. It was the threshold, the French historian, Fernand Braudel reminds us, of the world we now inhabit. This book is an attempt to follow Martín Cortés on his journeys back and . . .

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