"It is a magnificent epic," Prescott declared of his own work, the splendid History of the Conquest of Mexico, after its publication in 1843, and indeed, it is still hailed today as his masterpiece. Reverberating with hints of Greek tragedy and classical drama, this is a sweeping and enthralling account of Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés's crushing of Montezuma and his Aztec empire. rn rn Perhaps the most important work of Latin American history, it is "one of the most brilliant examples which the English language possesses of literary art applied to historical narration," raves Prescott biographer Harry Thurston Peck. "All the chief actors of his great historic drama not only live and breathe, but they are as distinctly differentiated as they must have been in life."rn rn Also available from Cosimo Classics: History of the Conquest of Peru, Prescott's companion volume about Pizarro's subjugation of the Incans.rn rn Historian, writer, and scholar WILLIAM HICKLING PRESCOTT (1796-1859) was born in Salem, Massachusetts. A regular contributor to the prestigious Boston literary journal North American Review, he also authored numerous books of history, including 1837's The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic, a critical and popular success in both America and Europe.