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Castaways (or Naufragios) is the first major narrative of the exploration of North America by Europeans (1528-1536). It is also an enthralling story of adventure and survival against unimaginable odds. Its author, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a fortune-seeking sixteenth-century Spanish nobleman, was the treasurer of an expedition to claim for the Spanish Crown a vast area that includes today's Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. A shipwreck forced him and a handful of men to make the long journey to the West coast, where they ...

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