on 3 January 2016
This superb book is exactly what I was looking for! I wanted to read Marco Polo's Travels in a good English translation, with accompanying medieval illustrations and modern photos and references to the places and events mentioned, and that's exactly what this book provides. The quality is outstanding, the text, illustrations etc., are a pleasure. They remind me a little of National Geographic, they're of that quality. In addition the book provides bonus texts here and there from other sources, it's a great one-stop-shop to learn about Marco Polo's world.
One bone I'd have to pick is not with the production itself, but with the introduction text. In the introduction the editor tells us that the original text of Marco Polo's travels no longer exists (that'd be the version that was dictated by Polo to his cellmate whilst in prison) and that later copies that survive often deviate from this original, with additions etc., But here's the question: if the original manuscript 'no longer survives', how do we know that later texts 'deviate' from it? Unless one of the copies is a sort of 'certified authentic copy' of the original (in which case that text now becomes the original, if the older text doesn't survive) ANY of the copies that do survive - even the most apparently outlandish - could be a faithful copy of the original; unless and only insofar as they refer to things that we know came historically well after Marco Polo's time. Anyway, tis only a detail, and won't interfere with enjoyment of the book, but I'd be careful of such assumptions.