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Book of John Mandeville: With Related Texts [Paperback]

Iain Macleod Higgins
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 April 2011
A fictive traveler's guide to the East, both Near and Far, The Book of John Mandeville was a late--medieval best seller, more popular in its day than Marco Polo's Travels. In addition to a fresh, vibrant translation--the first from the Middle French original since the fifteenth century--this edition of The Book of John Mandeville offers a succinct, broad-ranging Introduction to the work that touches on the question of authorship, the sources on which the text drew, and the transformation and reception of the work down to the present day.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872209350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872209350
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,155,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Honorable Mention Recipient, 2011 MLA Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work: The Book of John Mandeville , one of the most important medieval travel books, has been translated into English from the original Anglo-Norman French for the first time since the late fourteenth century. Iain Macleod Higgins's accurate, readable, and judiciously edited rendering now supersedes the modernizations of Middle English versions that have hitherto been the English-speaking world's chief access to a work second only to Marco Polo's Travels in its influence and the duration of its popularity. Higgins's copious annotation, detailed index, and inclusion of translated excerpts from Mandeville's sources and other relevant texts make this a historically important contribution to our knowledge of medieval travel literature and of Western perceptions of non-Western peoples. Impressive scholarship combines with skillful translation of a medieval work with great modern relevance." -- Modern Language Association Iain Macleod Higgins's edition of The Book of John Mandeville with Related Texts offers the first English translation from the Anglo-Norman for 600 years, together with a collection of excerpts from a range of sources that inform this synthesized travel narrative. Higgins's edition is at once scholarly and highly readable, combining a lively translation of this hugely influential work with judicious commentary on the text and textual tradition, its contexts, and criticism. Its publication in a highly affordable paperback edition makes an impressive piece of scholarship into a valuable teaching text. -- The Year's Work in English Studies , (Volume 92, Issue 1 2013)

About the Author

Iain Macleod Higgins is Associate Professor of English and Director of Medieval Studies, University of Victoria.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly edition of original French text 20 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In England most people who have heard of the travel writing of John Mandeville, knight, probably assume he was a devout English gent who wanted to set down what he'd seen and experienced on his pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and journeys into the far east. What this scholarly edition makes clear in a rather stodgily written introduction is that the work is more of a compilation (a mash-up, the professorial writer rather embarrassingly calls it), and it was originally done in French. The character of Mandeville is almost certainly a fiction, and much of the content of 'his' book is equally fictitious, and derived from a wide library of earlier writings on the wonders of the east, and of the pilgrim sites in the Holy Land. I was drawn to this version because it contains a lengthy sequence of appendices in which extracts from these sources are given in English translation. There's probably more academic detail here, as a result, than the average reader needs, and the Penguin version, which is based on the middle English versions translated from this French source, is arguably a better deal unless the reader is seeking advice on where and how the French writer made use of his sundry sources. The footnotes are mostly informative and helpful, but they can be nit-pickingly detailed. The sections on bizarre creatures and fabled monsters are fairly brief; mostly this is a rather dry account that resembles a medieval Rough Guide: it's not a narrative, and is written in an impersonal third person voice.
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