The author of this book promises to examine the relatively unstudied life of Martín Cortés (1533–89), the second of two sons by that name born to one of Mexico's most famous Spanish colonizers, Hernando Cortés (1485–1547). Her laborious contribution to this topic will benefit sixteenth-century historians and Hispanists because she brings to light important archival sources that together with secondary sources compose a portrait of the second marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, who unlike his father was born in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (in Cuernavaca, Morelos) and was of the first generation of New Spanish creoles. And unlike his older brother Martín, the younger Martín had his right to succeed his father legitimated by his Spanish parents' marriage.

One of the challenges acknowledged by the author in the book's introduction is the difficulty of establishing to which Martín sixteenth-century sources referred....

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