Histoire de la Conquête de la Floride in Time – Legitimizing and Framing the Spanish Conquest of Florida


  • Franca König




Travel books have been around for ages and fascinated those who stayed at home with magnificent reports from abroad. The same goes for historic accounts on the conquest of the ‘New World’. This chapter deals with Histoire de la Conquête de la Floride which is a 1731 travel account on the Spanish conquest of Florida in the 16th century that is quite unique in its publication history and content. It is this study’s interest to read between the lines and find out which motivations really lie behind the publication of the book. What can a book actually reveal that was originally written 65 years after De Soto’s conquest by an outsider with a personal interest in the matter; a book that was then translated by a Frenchman after another half century had passed and was finally published by a third man in the Netherlands forty years after the translation, more than hundred years consequent to the original book and almost two hundred years after the actual conquest took place!? This already indicates that Histoire de la conquête de la Floride possibly is not ‘just’ another travel book.


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