This book is a biography of a Chilean Jesuit, Juan Ignacio Molina (1740-1829), a historian and naturalist, who wrote the
Storia Naturale del Chili (1782) and the
Storia Civile del Chili (1787). Before his death at the age of eighty-nine, he had spent most of his life in Bologna, Italy, as a result of the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish Empire in 1767. Molina was also an ardent defender of the Americas against the false diatribes by writers such as Corneille de Pauw and William Robertson.