Bascunan: The Happy Captive.

Bascunan - The Happy Captive. Folio Society 1st, 1977. Folio Society 1st, 1977. '. . . Then came a blow from the massive club they use in battle, that can fell a horse, and another, and another, and I was stretched senseless . . . I came to, to fmd myself a prisoner.' For the young Francisco Nunez this was the start of six months' 'happy captivity' in the hands of the Arauco Indians. It was 1629. Cortez had subdued the Aztec empire in a mere three years; Pizarro took three more to topple the mighty Incas. But the Arauco of Chile, land of 'crazy geography', defied the Spanish conquest for more than three centuries. Many years later, Nunez, now a seasoned campaigner, tried to analyse Spain's failure in Chile, prefacing his lengthy treatise with a lively account of his experiences as a prisoner. Expecting the worst, he was treated by the Indians with the 'courtesy and distinction reserved for important guests', and gradually he was forced to realise that, in forfeiting her integrity to an insatiable cupidity, Spain had also forfeited her right to victory. Specially commissioned by the Society, this is the first translation into any other language of a unique document which, in addition to its insight into the life-style of a little-known race, is above all a marvellous adventure story, full of alarms and excursions. It is widely read in Chile today, though the onerous treatise it prefaced has long been forgotten. (Folio Society). 8¾" x 5½", 156pp, quarter red-brown leather with mushroom 'canvas' sides, front-board blocked with an illustration in red, gold blocked spine lettering and decoration, hardback. Laid paper. Map endpapers, different either end. Illustrated in monochrome with vinyl-cuts by John Lawrence.

Tiny (1/8") finger nail impression to mid-spine (I can't determine if it's actually pennetrated the art-leather for sure but I don't think so; see photo); usual slight rubs to art-leather, otherwise fine, complete with slip-case that has slight marking.


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