The Book of Marvels and Travels

The Book of Marvels and Travels

by John Mandeville, Anthony Bale

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Overview

In his Book of Marvels and Travels, Sir John Mandeville describes a journey from Europe to Jerusalem and on into Asia, and the many wonderful and monstrous peoples and practices in the East. Written in the fourteenth century, the Book is a captivating blend of fact and fantasy, an extraordinary travel narrative that offers some revealing and unexpected attitudes towards other races and religions. It was immensely popular, and numbered among its readers Chaucer, Columbus, and Thomas More. Here Mandeville tells us about the Sultan in Cairo, the Great Khan in China, and the mythical Christian prince Prester John. There are giants and pygmies, cannibals and Amazons, headless humans and people with a single foot so huge it can shield them from the sun. Forceful and opinionated, the narrator is by turns learned, playful, and moralizing, with an endless curiosity about different cultures.

Anthony Bale provides a lively new translation along with an introduction that considers questions of authorship and origins, the early travel narrative, Crusading and religious difference, fantasy and the European Age of Discovery, and Mandeville's pervasive popularity and influence. The book includes helpful notes on historical context that provide insights into medieval culture and attitudes. There are also three maps, an index of places and a general index, and a note on medieval measurements.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199600601
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/07/2012
Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 908,268
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Anthony Blake is Reader in Medieval Studies, Birkbeck College, London. He has published widely on various medieval topics, including Anglo-Jewish history, the poetry of Chaucer and Lydgate, the cult of St Edmund and fifteenth-century literature. His most recent book is Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages.

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