These two tales of adventures in sixteenth-century La Florida make available in able English translations two early-seventeenth-century Spanish texts, but in other respects they are quite different. Fuson’s work is a self-described (p. xi) demythologizing life-and-times biography of Juan Ponce de León, with emphasis on his early life as well as his two voyages to La Florida (1513, 1521). Fuson’s principal sources are Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas’s account of the Florida voyages (1601), which is translated in full, and the biographic and documentary works of Vicente Murga Sanz (1959), Manuel Ballesteros Gaibrois (1960), Aurelio Tío (1961), and Anthony Q. Devereux (1993). Fuson did not undertake his own archival research.

Fray Andrés’s book, in contrast, is a first person account of his voyage as a sailor to Mexico in 1593, his shipwreck on the coast of Georgia when returning to Spain in 1595,...

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