One of the most influential books of the medieval period, John Mandeville's fourteenth-century work was written, ostensibly, to encourage and instruct pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. A thorough compendium of medieval lore, the travel book proved to be a great success throughout Europe. (Among his alleged readers were Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus.) The Travels professes to relate Mandeville's experiences in the Holy Land, Egypt, India, and China--where he served in the Great Khan's army--followed by his journey to "the lands beyond," countries populated by "dog-headed men, cannibals, Amazons, and pygmies." Five centuries after Mandeville recorded his observations in those distant lands, the volume's remarkably exacting accounts of events and geography were found to be probable fabrications. Nevertheless, the book's widespread popularity and influence make it essential to the study of medieval English literature. An engaging mix of fact and fantasy, enhanced with more than 100 rare woodcut illustrations, it has retained its place as one of the greatest and most entertaining works of early English vernacular prose.
Early Travels in Palestine, first published in 1848, is a compilation of the writings and narratives of nine travelers of Palestine from various eras, ranging from the 8th Century to the late 17th century. Though the explorers are of different nationalities and religions, each experienced Palestine during a period of turmoil and recorded first-hand accounts of the events, people, topography, and culture. This book is ideal for students of Muslim, Jewish, or Biblical history, or for those interested in the many changes Palestine has experienced throughout the centuries. THOMAS WRIGHT (1810-1877) was an English writer, editor, and antiquarian born in Shropshire, near Ludlow, England. He graduated in 1834 from Trinity College at Cambridge University before moving to London to start his literary career. He contributed to many periodicals over his lifetime and helped to found several societies, including the British Archaeological Association and the Shakespeare Society. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a corresponding member of the Acad mie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres of Paris, among others. He remains most well-known for his editorial work on ancient Middle Eastern tomes.
The text of British Library Egerton MS 1982, with an essay on the cosmographical ideas of Mandeville's day by E. G. R. Taylor. The main pagination of this and the following volume (Second Series 102) is continuous. This is a new print-on-demand hardback edition of the volume first published in 1953.
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