TELLING OUR WAY TO THE SEA
PART III. Pachycereus pringlei / La Isla de Cardón
"But just as he'd received the legends of Amazons... recycled forms of early, nuanced depictions of foreign lands." What significance could the discoveries of Renaissance humanists possibly hold for a man who spent more time in conquest than he did with the classics? Did the conquistador consult his Herodotus when the massacre of Cholula was close at hand? Perhaps not, but the lineages of readers are neither difficult to establish nor even especially long: for instance, Cortés read Columbus, Columbus read the cosmographer Pierre d’Ailly, and d’Ailly, in turn, read the classical ethnographers.
In a subsection of The Origin called "characters of trifling importance", Darwin wrote this: "Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left either a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in certain polymorphic species, or would ultimately become fixed…."
Concerning Cortés's political struggle with the crown's bureaucracy, see R.R. Miller (1974), as well as Pagden's introduction to his translation of the letters.. The crown's new contract with Cortes is on page 109 of W.M. Mathes (1973).
"thirty married men... apothecary." This is from Lockhart's translation of Bernal Diaz.
"...the island of thistles—La Isla de Cardón." See Henry Raup Wagner (1929), particularly the list on p. 304.
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