Marco Polo Guides are packed with unique insider tips. Straightforward information is presented in an engaging format which will appeal to the young and the young at heart. Includes a street atlas and a separate pull-out map.
In the thirteenth century, Italian merchant and explorer Marco Polo traveled from Venice to the far reaches of Asia, a journey he chronicled in a narrative titled Il Milione, later known as The Travels of Marco Polo. While Polo’s writings would go on to inspire the likes of Christopher Columbus, scholars have long debated their veracity. Some have argued that Polo never even reached China, while others believe that he came as far as the Americas. Now, there’s new evidence for this historical puzzle: a very curious collection of fourteen little-known maps and related documents said to have belonged to the family of Marco Polo himself. In The Mysteries of the Marco Polo Maps, historian of cartography Benjamin B. Olshin offers the first credible book-length analysis of these artifacts, charting their course from obscure origins in the private collection of Italian-American immigrant Marcian Rossi in the 1930s; to investigations of their authenticity by the Library of Congress, J. Edgar Hoover, and the FBI; to the work of the late cartographic scholar Leo Bagrow; to Olshin’s own efforts to track down and study the Rossi maps, all but one of which are in the possession of Rossi’s great-grandson Jeffrey Pendergraft. Are the maps forgeries, facsimiles, or modernized copies? Did Marco Polo’s daughters—whose names appear on several of the artifacts—preserve in them geographic information about Asia first recorded by their father? Or did they inherit maps created by him? Did Marco Polo entrust the maps to Admiral Ruggero Sanseverino, who has links to Rossi’s family line? Or, if the maps have no connection to Marco Polo, who made them, when, and why? Regardless of the maps’ provenance, Olshin’s tale—stretching from the remote reaches of the northern Pacific to early Chinese legends—takes readers on a journey confounding yet fascinating, offering insights into Italian history, the age of exploration, and the wonders of cartography.
Dutchman Willem Janszoon?s arrival on the shores of Cape York in the Duyfken in 1606 is universally regarded as the first reliably documented non-Aboriginal arrival on Australia?s shores. Yet claims abound that the Portuguese, French, Spanish, Indonesians and, most recently, the Chinese were earlier visitors. Author William A.R. Richardson, Associate Professor at Flinders University, South Australia, examines the evidence for these claims and presents his own case. Much of the Portuguese claim rests on the evidence of a series of sixteenth-century French maps which show a charted landmass?Jave la Grande, south of Indonesia?which some have identified as Australia. Richardson devotes much of his book to considering this issue in detail, in particular the information that place-names can provide in identification. This book is illustrated throughout with charts and maps, some of which are beautifully embellished, showcasing the exquisite art and skill of the mapmakers of the day.
Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer
Author: Rolf Potts
Publisher: Travelers' Tales
Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is a collection of rollicking travel tales from a young writer USA Today has called “Jack Kerouac for the Internet Age.” For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far fringes of five continents for such prestigious publications as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys—from getting stranded without water in the Libyan desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram. Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a “commentary track”—endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.