Detail of a printed text shows an illustration of four naked Natives surrounded by trees. One holds a cross bow and another holds a large stick. Text in Dutch is also visible.
Detail of a printed text shows an illustration of a group of naked Natives holding crossbows and surrounded by trees. Text in Dutch is also visible.
Overview of a printed text shows a small illustration and text in Dutch.

Van der nieuwer werelt

Amerigo Vespucci

The news of the arrival of Europeans to the Americas quickly started percolating into popular literature. One of the most striking examples is the Dutch translation of the Mundus Novus letter by the Antwerp publisher Jan van Doesborch. Van Doesborch’s treatment of Vespucci’s letter is unique; apart from translating it in the vernacular, he transformed it into a chapbook. The story is divided into chapters and is illustrated with six woodcuts of mostly naked natives. The text omits Vespucci’s last name, and hints that “Alberic, the best pilot in the world”, may have been an inhabitant of the Low Countries serving the Portuguese king. The JCB owns the only known copy of this edition.





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