In addition to a fresh, vibrant translation -- the first from the Middle French original since the fifteenth century -- this edition of The Book of John Mandeville offers a succinct, broad-ranging Introduction to the work that touches on the question of authorship, the sources on which the text drew, and the transformation and reception of the work down to the present day.
Also included are notes setting the work in its historical and cultural context and selections from related texts, including significant textual variants from William of Boldensele's Book of Certain Regions beyond the Mediterranean and Odoric of Pordenones Relatio.
"The Book of John Mandeville, one of the most important medieval travel books, has been translated into English from the original Anglo-Norman French for the first time since the late fourteenth century. Iain Macleod Higgins's accurate, readable, and judiciously edited rendering now supersedes the modernizations of Middle English versions that have hitherto been the English-speaking world's chief access to a work second only to Marco Polo's Travels in its influence and the duration of its popularity. Higgins's copious annotation, detailed index, and inclusion of translated excerpts from Mandeville's sources and other relevant texts make this a historically important contribution to our knowledge of medieval travel literature and of Western perceptions of non-Western peoples. Impressive scholarship combines with skillful translation of a medieval work with great modern relevance." --Modern Language Association