Bernal Díaz del Castillo was born in 1492, the year Columbus sailed across the Atlantic. He joined Hernán Cortés on his expedition to Mexico and was with him as he marched on Tenochtitlan. At the age of seventy, he began to write his True History of the Conquest of New Spain. His intention was to remind the King of Spain of the heroism of the Spanish conquistadors who accompanied Cortés. His True History is often considered to be an eyewitness account, but it was written forty or fifty years after the conquest of Mexico was completed. True History remains one of the best accounts we have of Mexico at the time of the conquest, but its purpose and style betrays some of the biases that appear in this so-called truthful history.

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