Alonso de Ovalle. Historica relacion del reyno de Chile. Roma: Francisco Cauallo, 1646.

Alonso de Ovalle, S.J., was of noble descent and first in line to inherit the family fortune, including land and Indians. He fled his home at seventeen to enter the Jesuit order. He later gained notoriety for his sermons. In 1642 he was sent to Europe to recruit missionaries to evangelize the Araucan Indians. In the same year he published both Spanish and Italian versions of the Histórica relación del reyno de Chile (Rome, 1646), in which he described his country to Europeans.

Ovalle's Histórica relación used many sources such as Antonio de Herrera, Alvarez de Toledo, Alonso de Ercilla, and others. He also consulted Dutch maps of America and the Latin version of de Bry's travels. For many years the Histórica relación was the principal and preferred source of information about Chile for European readers, due to its elegant prose, power of synthesis, and its maps and illustrations.

The Durand collection has the Spanish and the Italian first editions. One copy of the former has an altered date of publication which seems to read "MDCXLVIII."

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