The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 310
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
those who have vied for honor in this highly exploited and com-
petitive field. So intense and detailed has been the interest of
North American publicists, especially in those Spanish cavaliers
who entered the present limits of the continental United States,
that they have resorted to bitter bone-picking, attempting to
prove that this or that explorer did or did not traverse a river,
town site, or some remote corner of their native states.
A major target of this research and consequently suffering no
historical neglect is Hernando de Soto, whose journey of travail
(1539-1543) through the southern United States and westward
across the Mississippi is well known. But for fascinating descrip-
tion, eloquent, moving style, and richness of detail, De Soto's
"fabulous story," as narrated in the captivating chronicle of the
Inca, Garcilaso de la Vega, will probably never be equalled.
Matching the melody of the Inca's name and his flowing, six-
teenth-century Spanish, Professor and Mrs. Varner have con-
verted his Florida into beautiful English, and the result is a
work which will endure as a rare piece of master craftsmanship.
Almost as familiar as the basic facts of De Soto's journey are
the details of Garcilaso's progenitors and the general outline of
his life. Born at Cuzco in 1539, mestizo offspring of a Spanish
father with titled lineage and of an Indian mother who descended
from the Inca dynasty, he had in his veins the unique fusion of
the noble blood of the New and Old World. After passing his
youth in Peru, where he heard the legends of many daring con-
quests and observed the vestiges of the disintegrating Inca civil-
ization, he sailed for Spain (1560) and resided there until his
death in 1616. His exposure to military matters while serving in
the King's army and his dual heritage of race, nobility, and en-
vironment, in which he took equal pride, equipped him with a
fresh outlook on the exploration and settlement of the New
World. The two important products of his facile pen-The Flor-
ida and Los Comentarios Reales, primarily a study of the Incas
and of the conquest of Peru-were simultaneous and somewhat
complementary works which gave him the deserved title of the
first great literary figure born in the Americas.
Written over a period of many years, though not published
until 1605, The Florida was composed to serve a number of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/360/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.