The Riddle and the Knight by Giles Milton
In Search of Sir John Mandeville, the World's Greatest Traveler

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Synopsis

Part travelogue/part historical mystery about the most famous traveler--and chronicler-- in medieval Europe.

Giles Milton's first book, The Riddle and the Knight, is a fascinating account of the legend of Sir John Mandeville, a long-forgotten knight who was once the most famous writer in medieval Europe. Mandeville wrote a book about his voyage around the world that became a beacon that lit the way for the great expeditions of the Renaissance, and his exploits and adventures provided inspiration for writers such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Keats. By the nineteenth century however, his claims were largely discredited by academics. Giles Milton set off in the footsteps of Mandeville, in order to test his amazing claims, and to restore Mandeville to his rightful place in the literature of exploration.
"Erudite, witty and adventurous" (The Mail on Sunday), The Riddle and the Knight is a brilliant piece of detective work.

 

About Giles Milton

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Giles Milton is the author of three books, including a history of the seventeenth-century spice wars in the Dutch East Indies, Nathaniel’s Nutmeg.
 
Published October 8, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 245 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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instead, he concludes, correctly but half-heartedly, that Mandeville never made it any farther East, and that the second half of Travels, with its accounts of giant snails and people with two heads, was part of a complicated allegory about the decline of Christendom that stands in purposeful cont...

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Zimbio

Although Mandeville visits libraries and looks through archives, the bulk of his research is in visiting the same places that Mandeville did and comparing the observations in The Travels to other chroniclers of the time and indeed knowledge of the locals.

Jul 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Riddle and the Knight: In...

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