Mexico: por la viuda de Bernardo Calderon [i.e. Paula de Benavides], 1673. ,219 [i.e. 221], leaves. Plus added facsimile map. Quarto. Recased in contemporary limp vellum with slightly yapp edges showing evidence of now-lost ties; rear free endpaper lacking and all edges mottled. Case marks on front pastedown. Last leaf torn cleanly and expertly repaired, one leaf with an old limited ink smear that does not impede reading. A clean, very good copy. Item #WRCAM55409
An important chronicle of the Augustinian order in Mexico, printed by a significant woman printer.
Diego Basalenque emigrated to New Spain with his parents from Salamanca when he was nine, joined the Augustinian order at the age of fifteen, and professed his religion two years later in Mexico City on February 4, 1594. A man of many talents, he was a teacher, administrator, and historian especially remembered for his skill in languages: he was proficient in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and several Mexican tongues. There is evidence that he authored multiple works on a variety of topics, including mathematics and theology, but only three were published, all posthumously.
Basalenque wrote his HISTORIA DE LA PROVINCIA DE SAN NIÇOLAS DE TOLENTINO DE MICHOACAN in 1644 but left it in manuscript at his death in 1651. Father Salguero, prior of the Augustinian province of Michoacan in the 1660s and 70s and Basalenque's biographer (Mexico, 1664), saw the work published at the shop of the very talented and well-connected widow-printer Paula de Benavides, widow of printer Bernardo Calderon. It is both a chronicle and a prosopographical account of the Augustinians in Mexico from 1533 to 1643, and is divided into two main chapters: 1533 to 1602 when the province of San Nicolas of Tolentino of Michoacan was created out of the province of The Most Holy Name of Jesus ("Santísimo Nombre de Jesús"), and 1602 to 1643. The facts and dates for events prior to circa 1590 are mostly recounted from Juan de Grijalva's CRONICA DE LA ORDEN DE N.P.S. AUGUSTI´N EN LAS PROVINCIAS DE LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, EN QUATRO EDADES DESDE EL AÑO DE 1533 HASTA EL DE 1592 (Mexico, 1624), but those of the 17th century are wholly Basalenque's. His biographies of the 17th-century Augustinians are extremely valuable as they are based on his having known and lived with them; personality traits are discussed and family history and genealogy are detailed.
The history is printed mainly in roman but with some italic type, in double-column format, with woodcut head- and tailpieces and a type-ornament border on the titlepage, which page further offers a woodcut vignette portrait of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. There are errors in foliation: 47 and 48 are duplicated and 133 and 134 are incorrectly numbered 132 and 133.
In this copy opposite the titlepage is an added facsimile map of the province taken from an edition of Augustin Lubin's ORBIS AUGUSTINIANUS, SIVE, CONVENTUUM ORDINIS EREMITARUM AUGUSTINI CHOROGRAPHICA ET TOPOGRAPHICA DESCRIPTIO; no map was issued with the book originally. MEDINA, MEXICO 1084 PINELO-BARCIA, EPITOME, II, Col. 755. BERISTAIN, I, p.143. TERNAUX 902. ANDRADE 632.