Amecameca: Tip. del Colegio católico, 1883. 321 pp. Illus. with facsims. of title-pages of original (1816-19) editions. 8vo. Half black morocco over marbled boards, four raised bands, titles in gilt. 2. ed. publícala el presbítero br. Fortino Hipolito Vera. About very good, scuffed along spine, rubbed, small crack along fore edge of rear board, free front endpaper detached. Palau 27964. Leclerc 3068. Jones 2073a. See Sabin 4871. Item #36491
The Third of Three volumes. First published in 1816-1819. According to Palau, the sheer volume of the the works that Beristáin de Souza saw but which are no longer available compensates for his less than perfect scholarship. The republication had a long and tortuous history, beginning 1842 but not reaching fruition until 1883. Sabin, quoting Ludewig's "Literature of American Aboriginal Languages" writes: “De Souza, is by far the most important work for the literature of New Spain that has ever been composed. It comprises 3687 biographies, and although, like most Spanish works of the kind, singularly uncritical, yet it is a perfect treasure as regards the cultivation of science and literature in Mexico and the adjacent countries. The work is extremely scarce....” Harrisse, who was no fan of the work, notes that Beristain only lived to see the first 186 pages published, the remainder being composed by his nephew (Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima, p. xxi). Medina published a fourth volume in 1897.