In 1992 we mark the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the New World. But for most of us, this pivotal figure remains as distant and mysterious as the New World must have seemed to him. What sort of man was Columbus? Was he a zealous crusader or a mystic seer, as various legends have it, or an embodiment of bourgeois capitalism, as new interpretations claim? In this concise, authoritative biography, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto provides us with a striking view of the first European to explore America, going beyond popular misconception to reveal the real individual behind the romantic fictions.
The Columbus that emerges here may differ from the one described in text books and speculative fantasies, but Fernandez-Armesto's Columbus derives from thorough research into verifiable sources. Fernandez-Armesto paints a new picture of an ambitious, socially awkward parvenu, an autodidact who was intellectually aggressive but easily cowed, an embittered escapee from distressing realities, an adventurer inhibited by fear of failure. The author carefully places Columbus in the context of his society, describing in detail both the explorer's Genoese roots and the culture of his adopted Castillian home. We gain insight into the workings of Ferdinand and Isabella's royal court, as we watch him struggle to attain patronage for his ambitious travel plans; we learn about the role of contemporary cartography in the formation of Columbus's vision of the world through an analysis of marginal notes in his library. And of course we accompany him on his four trips to the New World, watching his reactions to these newly discovered lands and people, following his unsuccessful career as a colonial administrator in Hispaniola, and charting his growing religious obsessions. Fernandez-Armesto assesses the preservation and transcription of Columbus's writings through the work of the 16th century Spaniard Bartolome de Las Casas, and sets the voyages within the context of the ongoing discovery of North and South America.
Complete with eight pages of illustrations and a chronology of Columbus's life and work, this biography provides a compact and up-to-date guide to the explorer and his voyages. Written by an acknowledged authority on the legendary explorer, this book will be a standard for people wanting to separate the facts from the fantasy.
Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.
From Kirkus Reviews:
About the Author:
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is a Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and is the author of The Spanish Armada.
Tart, well-researched, critical biography by Fernandez-Armesto (The Spanish Armada, 1988, etc.). There's not much affinity between writer and subject here. It's as if to Fernandez-Armesto the achievements of autodidact Columbus are simply not acceptable: ``...characteristic intellectual shortcomings of the self-educated...always made silly or risible errors.'' Columbus, the author tells us, was of ordinary lineage and could be coy about his background; sometimes he even lied. When the underqualified Columbus finally gets his backing, the author allows that he might be ``even perhaps charismatic.'' But Fernandez-Armesto never lets him off the hook, even at the end of his last voyage (and career and life): ``As always in adversity, the old syndrome flowed forth from Columbus's distraught brain....'' When Columbus gives credit to God for his learning, the statement is scrutinized suspiciously--even though it was an age when man gave God a lot of credit. Allowed to speak, Columbus's flowery phrases breathe life into the arid, quarrelsome text: ``Throughout this time I have seen and studied books of every sort- -geography, history, chronicles, philosophy and other arts--whereby our Lord opened my understanding with His manifest hand to the fact that it was practicable to sail from here to the Indies.'' What's missing here is any sense of Columbus as a complete man, a devout adventurer, the leader who still had time for books, who came out of a weaver's shop to teach himself navigation and astronomy. There's not much feeling for those wild times, either, when everyone misbehaved with such unacademic abandon. Lots of trees, no forest. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97801921589871.0
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Brand new copy. Ships fast secure, expedited available!. Codice libro della libreria 3UBDHI000AHG
Descrizione libro Oxford Univ Pr, Oxford - New York, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. First edition 1991, matching dates on title and copyright pages. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear, no markings of ny kind, Not a reminder. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Not clipped. . 8vo, XXVII + 219. Codice libro della libreria 007481
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, U.S.A., 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. Brand new first edition hardcover in new jacket. Pristine crisp tight clean unread. Codice libro della libreria 046936
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0192158988
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0192158988
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 1991. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110192158988
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0192158988 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.1051775