From Publishers Weekly
"On the right-hand side of the Indies there was an island called California, which was very close to the region of the Earthly Paradise." So reads a 1510 Spanish novel about a mythic land populated only by women; by the time Cervantes published Don Quixote some 100 years later, California "had evolved from an imagined to a real place," write editors Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz. In Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535-1846, the editors gather together an impressive collection of primary documents the writings of early California settlers, primarily, many of whom were Spanish or Mexican to provide a rich early history of the region and the lives and the culture of the people who resided there. Illus.
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''An impressive collection of primary documents...provide a rich early history of the region and the lives and the culture of the people who resided there.''--Publishers Weekly
''The documents in Lands of Promise and Despair cover the whole panoply of human life as it existed in the centuries of Spanish rule. There is much to pore over in these pages: the frustrated, baffled report of the Portola expedition of 1768, sent overland to Monterey Bay, and who, unable to recognize it even as they marched on its shores, eventually gave up and returned south. Or the heartbreaking transcripts of trials of Indians arrested after revolts, where the pitiable plight of the red man in California comes through clearly.'' --Faultline, March 2002