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Travel Literature

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  1. An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies

    Bartolomé De Las Casas
    Edited, with Introduction, by Franklin W. Knight,
    Translated by Andrew Hurley

    An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies

    “This is a splendid new translation of Brevísima Relación, the famous denunciation of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, written by Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas (1483-1566). . . . The Hackett edition of Brevísima Relación . . . has a lot to offer to undergraduates. . . . Knight’s introduction to the text makes in fact for a compelling read. . . . Together with Knight’s ample annotations, which refer students to the most up-to-date secondary literature, it makes for a wonderful introduction to the history of Europe’s expansion into the Western Hemisphere.”
         —Martine van Ittersum, Journal of Early Modern History

  2. Columbus on Himself

    Felipe Fernández-Armesto

    Columbus on Himself

    "Columbus had been the subject of many biographies, but the approach of Columbus on Himself is unique. Fernández-Armesto has created, as far as it is possible, an account of Christopher Columbus's life based on his own words. Columbus left far more potentially autobiographical writings than his contemporary explorers from the age of European expansion, but there are gaps in the record. Fernández-Armesto has arranged Columbus's writings chronologically so readers can see Columbus's development, and intersperses them with his insightful commentary. The translations are Fernández-Armesto's own. Recommended."
        —R. Fritze, Athens State University, in Choice

  3. The Book of John Mandeville

    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Iain Macleod Higgins

    The Book of John Mandeville

    "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

  4. The Description of the World

    Marco Polo
    Translated, with an Introduction and Annotations, by Sharon Kinoshita

    The Description of the World

    "Marco Polo’s account provided both what was thought to be a reliable guide to East Asia—Columbus carried with him a heavily annotated copy of Marco Polo’s work during his own expedition to the Americas—and an intriguingly fantastical account that for centuries has continued to fuel the imagination of poets and artists. Kinoshita’s superb, groundbreaking translation brilliantly renders into modern English this crucial text of the Middle Ages. Indispensable in the undergraduate and graduate classroom, The Description of the World will also appeal to a wide range of readers curious about the medieval encounter of East and West."
         —Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto

  5. The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck

    Translated by Peter Jackson, Introduction, Notes, and Appendices, by Peter Jackson and David Morgan

    The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck

    "[A] gem . . . Jackson's emendations are judicious, his translation reads well. . . . The exemplary work of Peter Jackson and David Morgan will remain indispensable to all interested in the wealth of information contained in Rubruck's report."
         —Denis Sinor, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

  6. The Persian Letters (Healy Edition)

    Montesquieu
    Translated, with Introduction, by George R. Healy

    The Persian Letters (Healy Edition)

    Based on the 1758 edition, this translation strives for fidelity and retains Montesquieu’s paragraphing. George R. Healy’s Introduction discusses The Persian Letters as a kind of overture to the Enlightenment, a work of remarkable diversity designed more to explore a problem of great urgency for eighteenth century thought than to resolve it: that of discovering universals, or at least the pragmatic constants, amid the diversity of human culture and society, and of confronting the proposition that there are no values in human relationships except those imposed by force or agreed upon in self-interested conventions.

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