A neglected period of exploration,
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This review is from: Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492 (Middle Ages) (Paperback)
This is a gem of a book, which covers a period after the great Viking migrations and explorations, and before the great Spanish Empire building.
The book relays very well the history of the 'age of expansion' and then the explorations undertaken by the various European powers, particularly the Portuguese, Genoese and Castilian. What's more, it does not just tell what happened, but offers very cogent reasons for why the explorations took place, what the motives of the explorers were and what they found. I was particularly interested in the, to me, non-traditional views on the motives and reasons for 'Henry the Navigator's' role in the Portuguese expansionism. By backtracking a little in my own books around Portuguese history, and its dynastic links and history it was possible to put the information together to see a more well-rounded portrait of Dom Henrique than normally comes through in general histories of explorations.
All in all, a very thought-provoking and interesting, well-written book which answers a lot of questions, and encourages you to go off and find out some more.