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Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (P.S.)by Laurence Bergreen
Synopses & Reviews
In 1519, Magellan, five ships, and more than two hundred men set sail from Spain to find a water route to the Spice Islands. Despite suffering starvation, disease, torture, and death, they discovered the passageway known today as the Strait of Magellan. Bestselling author Laurence Bergreen takes readers on a spellbinding voyage as he interweaves a variety of candid, first-person accounts, some previously unavailable in English.
Over the Edge of the World is a captivating tale of a tenacious captain and the most daring discovery of an era.
"A vivid account of Magellan's star-crossed voyage around the world nearly five centuries ago....Very nicely written through and through." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] powerful tale of adventure with a strong presence and rich detail." Publishers Weekly
"Fascinating reading for history buffs, and a great story that rivals any seagoing adventure." Gavin Quinn, Booklist
"A revisionist view — and also a cracking good tale." Library Journal
"Prodigious research, sure-footed prose and vivid depictions make for a thoroughly satisfying account of the age in which Iberian seafarers groped their way around the world." W. Jeffrey Bolster, The New York Times
"In delivering this excellent, highly readable account of the first circumnavigation of the globe, Bergreen does full justice to Magellan, the visionary captain who sailed west into the great unknown." San Antonio Express-News
"Drawing on a variety of primary sources, Bergreen has done a fine job of telling Magellan's story. He portrays the explorer as neither villain nor noble hero, but as a driven, disciplined, often cruel man with vision and seemingly limitless courage." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Although he has nothing new to add and the sources on which he relies are all familiar ones, Laurence Bergreen...tells this story with great verve and not too much oversimplification." Los Angeles Times
"Bergreen's tome is a veritable wealth of fascinating tidbits and stories....In Over the Edge of the World, Begreen has created a captivating chronicle, sustained by copious research and an accessible, lively writing style." South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Bergreen's research is so filled with wondrous discoveries, his writing so filled with unforgettable scenes, that he sucked me in until I surrendered totally." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A voyage into history, a tour of the world emerging from the Middle Ages, a chronicle of a desperate grab for commercial and political power, and more, this captivating tale rivals the most exciting thriller fiction.
Ferdinand Magellan's daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three-year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen, interweaving a variety of candid, first-person accounts, some previously unavailable in English, brings to life this groundbreaking and majestic tale of discovery that changed many long-held views about the world and the way explorers would henceforth navigate its oceans.
In 1519 Magellan and his fleet set sail from Seville, Spain, to find a water route to the Spice Islands in Indonesia, where the most sought-after commodities — cloves, pepper, and nutmeg — flourished. Most important, they were looking for a passageway, a strait, through the great landmass of the Americas that would lead them to these fabled islands. Laurence Bergreen takes readers on board with Magellan and his crew as they explore, navigate, mutiny, suffer, and die across the seas. He also recounts the many unusual sexual practices the crew experienced, from orgies in Brazil to bizarre customs in the South Pacific. With a fleet of five ships and more than two hundred men, they had set out in search of the Spice Islands. Three years later they returned with an abundance of spices from their intended destination, but with just one ship carrying eighteen emaciated men. They suffered starvation, disease, and torture, and many died, including Magellan, who was violently killed in a fierce battle.
A man of great tenacity, cunning, and courage, Magellan was full of contradictions. He was both heroic and foolish, insightful yet blind, a visionary whose instincts outran his ideals. Ambitious to a fault and not above using torture and murder to maintain control of his ships and sailors, he survived innumerable natural hazards in addition to several violent mutinies aboard his own fleet — and it took no less than the massed forces of fifteen hundred men to kill him.
This is the first time in nearly half a century that anyone has attempted to narrate the complete story of Magellan's unprecedented circumnavigation of the globe — to tell this truly gripping and profoundly important story of heroism, discovery, and disaster. A voyage into history, a tour of the world emerging from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, an anthropological account of tribes, languages, and customs unknown to Europeans, and a chronicle of a desperate grab for commercial and political power, Over the Edge of the World is a captivating tale that rivals the most exciting thriller fiction.
About the Author
Laurence Bergreen is the author of four biographies, each considered the definitive work on its subject: Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, Capone: The Man and the Era, As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, and Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth. A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in New York City.
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