The first edition in Spanish was published in Rome in 1585 and this translation is taken from the revised Madrid edition of 1586. It was translated by Robert Parke at the request and encouragement of Richard Hakluyt, before the publication of his Principall Navigations.The first part contains an account of the fifteen provinces of China and includes descriptions of printing, fishing, artillery, marriage customs and criminals. There are also three woodcut Chinese letters, the first to appear in a European book.
The second part is devoted to three expeditions: Martin de Rada, or de Harrada, to the Philippines in 1575, Pedro de Alfaro's journey in 1578, and that of Martin Ignacio de Loyola in 1581 containing his Commentarie of the New World; this describes Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rica, Jamaica, Santo Domingo and the Canaries. Ortelius, in his atlas, declared that he received more information concerning America from this book than from any other.
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