From the Publisher
"With its focus on food and corporeal well-being, The Body of the Conquistador opens a fascinating new chapter in Spain’s conquest and colonization of the Americas. What were Spaniards to eat as they encountered unfamiliar foodstuffs - avocados, maize, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and more - that reportedly did irreparable damage to both body and mind? As for the natives, was their stature and temperament connected to 'the poor quality of the food they eat'? Would the ingestion of wheat, pork, and other Iberian staples hasten their conversion to Christianity? to a more European style of life? As Earle explains in this new important study, these and related questions sparked lively debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Stunningly original and deeply researched, her book is not to be missed. It is essential reading for both the history of the Americas and early modern ideas about the relationship between food, culture, bodies, and health."
Richard L. Kagan, The Johns Hopkins University
"Clearly written and based on impressive primary and secondary research, Earle's book belongs in every academic and large public library. Essential."
"This book is a highly original study that uses a new and very fruitful methodological approach. Earle's research is superb and far-ranging. This is certainly a study that specialists of the colonial world, food history, and race should read."
Hispanic American Historical Review
"With this well-researched, erudite, and nuanced work, Earle has fundamentally shifted discussions of the colonial body, environmental history and the colonial enterprise itself … This fine book deserves a place on every Hispanist’s bookshelf and will serve admirably in seminars on colonial Latin American and environmental history."
Jacqueline Holler, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History