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Download Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504 by Laurence Bergreen PDF

By Laurence Bergreen

From the writer of the Magellan biography, Over the sting of the World, a enthralling new account of the nice explorer

Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage around the Atlantic Ocean looking for a buying and selling path to China, and his unforeseen landfall in the Americas, is a watershed occasion in international heritage. but Columbus made 3 extra voyages in the span of just a decade, each one designed to exhibit that he might sail to China inside an issue of weeks and convert these he discovered there to Christianity. those later voyages have been much more adventurous, violent, and ambiguous, yet they printed Columbus's uncanny experience of the ocean, his mingled brilliance and fantasy, and his fabulous navigational abilities. In a lot of these exploits he virtually by no means misplaced a sailor. through their end, in spite of the fact that, Columbus used to be damaged in physique and spirit. If the 1st voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, the latter voyages illustrate the tragic costs—political, ethical, and economic.

In wealthy aspect Laurence Bergreen re-creates every one of those adventures in addition to the old heritage of Columbus's celebrated, arguable occupation. Written from the individuals' bright views, this breathtakingly dramatic account may be embraced through readers of Bergreen's prior biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan and by means of lovers of Nathaniel Philbrick, Simon Winchester, and Tony Horwitz.

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But where were the inhabitants of this Arcadia? With stifled breathing and hesitant footfalls, his men warily crept through the timeless village. ” He refused to entertain the implication that Cuba was an island. If he had not arrived on Asia’s doorstep, where was he? It was a question that haunted the entire premise of the voyage. He persuaded himself that the inhabitants, or Indians, mentioned “mines of gold and pearls,” and claimed he caught a glimpse of “mussel shells” that might contain pearls, and on the basis of this misunderstanding, concluded that the “ships of the Grand Khan, great ones,” had preceded him.

As the journal gathered substance, it became an important record of the voyage, the rudder of the Admiral’s psyche, a stay against both actual and psychic storms. It was not, however, a source of comfort to Columbus. In place of the expected sense of vindication, the Admiral often sounds ever more frantic and embattled by his discoveries and their challenges. He becomes aware that he is entering into a lasting struggle in which every triumph seems to be accompanied by a misstep, unforeseen consequences, or even a potential crime.

I discovered a very wonderful harbor with one mouth, or rather one might say two mouths, for it has an island in the middle, and both are very narrow, and within it is wide enough for 100 ships, if it were deep and clean,” he recorded on October 17 as he approached Cape Santa María. ” He was charmed and baffled by the spectacle. ” The sights of so many unidentifiable trees and plants and flowers caused him “great grief,” almost as if he were blind or speechless. Only gold roused him from his reveries.

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