Amerigo Vespucci, Letters from a New World: Amerigo Vespucci's Discovery of America, ed and introd. ... 1992); and Michael Householder, Inventing Americans in the Age of Discovery: Narratives of Encounter (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2011).
Author: Ralph Bauer
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Category: Literary Criticism
The Age of the Discovery of the Americas was concurrent with the Age of Discovery in science. In The Alchemy of Conquest, Ralph Bauer explores the historical relationship between the two, focusing on the connections between religion and science in the Spanish, English, and French literatures about the Americas during the early modern period. As sailors, conquerors, travelers, and missionaries were exploring "new worlds," and claiming ownership of them, early modern men of science redefined what it means to "discover" something. Bauer explores the role that the verbal, conceptual, and visual language of alchemy played in the literature of the discovery of the Americas and in the rise of an early modern paradigm of discovery in both science and international law. The book traces the intellectual and spiritual legacies of late medieval alchemists such as Roger Bacon, Arnald of Villanova, and Ramon Llull in the early modern literature of the conquest of America in texts written by authors such as Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, José de Acosta, Nicolás Monardes, Walter Raleigh, Thomas Harriot, Francis Bacon, and Alexander von Humboldt.