Notes: A Mexican edition of a history of the Haitian revolution, written from the perspective of the French, who were ousted from the island following a particularly brutal and bloody conflict. The book is predictably critical of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a leader of the revolution and the first ruler of independent Haiti, who ordered the execution of most of the remaining white residents of the country after the war.
The book was quickly translated into several European languages, including Spanish, as a warning to other colonial powers. Juan Lopez Cancelada, a Spaniard who at the time was editing the Mexican periodical, La Gazeta, financed this Mexican edition. Cancelada commissioned two Mexican artists, José Simón de Larrea (who signs his work "Rea" in this book) and Manuel Lopez Lopez, to produce the engravings for which this edition is known.
The ten plates, including a frontispiece, are expressive and distinctly New World illustrations. A couple of them are justly well known. Lopez Lopez's "Fue muerta y destrozada en el campo" [She was killed and slaughtered in the field], an image of a dismembered (white) woman and her infant child could almost be an example of Surrealism (facing page 33). His portrait of Dessalines with his sword raised and the head of a (white) woman in his other hand, symbolized the fears colonizers felt about the colonized. Other plates offer portraits of Haitian leaders, like Georges Biassou, Henri Christophe, and Toussaint Louverture.
, 10, 18, , 19–106 pages. Plus ten engraved plates.
Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing). In a twentieth-century stained calf binding; previous owner's name dated 1994 on the first blank and the top margin on page 55. Minor staining to a few pages. Plates with good impressions and only minor spotting. A nice copy.
Publication: México [Mexico City]: En la officina de D. Mariano de Zúñiga y Ontiveros, 1806.
Item No: #362640