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Juan González de Mendoza (c. 1540 - 1617) was the author of the first Western history of China to publish Chinese characters for Western delectation. Published by him in 1586, Historia de las cosas más notables, ritos y costumbres del gran reyno de la China is an account of observations in China. An English translation by Robert Parke appeared in 1588 and was reprinted by the Hakluyt Society in two volumes, edited by Sir George T. Staunton, Bart. (London, 1853-54).

Biography

Mendoza was born at Toledo. He joined the army but after some years resigned to enter the Order of Saint Augustine. He based his most famous text on the journals of Miguel de Luarca, whose 1580 trip to Ming China provided a simple majority thereof. He never set foot in China, but spent two years in Mexico before returning to Spain. He was afterward Bishop of the Lipari Islands, of Chiapas, and of Popayán, where he died - honoured as a Spanish prelate.

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