Illustrated Memoir of an Eventful Expedition into Central America; Resulting in the Discovery of the Idolatrous City of Iximaya, in an Unexplored Regiond; and the Possession of Two Remarkable Aztec Children, Descendants and Specimens of the Sacerdotal Caste, (now nearly Extinct,) of the Ancient Aztec Founders of the Ruined Temples of that Country, Described by John L. Stephens, Esq., and Other Travellers. Translated from the Spanish of Pedro Velasquez, of San Salvador
London: R. S. Francis, 1853. Hardcover. Very Good. 4 text illustrations and 6 plates (including frontis), , [vi]-36p. Contemporary blindstamped green cloth. Original wrapper bound in. Titling ("The Aztec Lilliputians") on backstrip. 20cm. Backstrip lightly faded. Age-toning and a bit of foxing. Title on original wrapper is "The History of the Aztec Lilliputians." A circus sideshow item full of invented details about the supposed discovery of a race of lilliputians from a hidden city somewhere in Central America. The two "Aztec" children, whose long career as a circus sideshow exhibit including a period of time in the 1860s with Barnum's American Museum, were in reality exploited Salvadoran siblings (brother and sister) who were afflicted with developmentally disabling microcephaly. There were several editions of this fanciful item, apparently beginning with a New York edition in 1850. There appears to have be at least two London editions because some copies have 38 pages (with pages 37-38 in those editions being titled "Measurements of the Aztecs").
(Inventory #: 85822)
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