History of the Conquest of Mexico: With a Preliminary View of Ancient Mexican Civilization, and the Life of the Conqueror, Hernando Cortes By William Hickling Prescott. Illustrations from the Montezuma Edition.
Prescott expressed interest in his correspondence in writing a biography of Molière, and Ticknor records that he sent Prescott "a collection of about 50 volumes" of relevant material. However, after writing to Ángel Calderón de la Barca, a Spanish minister living in Mexico, who was able to provide source material, Prescott started research on what was to become the History of the Conquest of Mexico.
There was relatively little scholarship on Aztec civilization, and Prescott dismissed much of it as "speculation", and he therefore had to rely almost exclusively on primary sources. He considered Edward King's theory that the pre-Columbian civilizations were non-indigenous to be fallacious, although he was greatly indebted to him for his anthology of Aztec codices in the Antiquities of Mexico.