Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer Review

on 19 January 2009
John Keay has written a brilliant, amusing and readable account of the spice trade from pre-history to the 1800's.

Keay as always is irrerevent, his gentle and humourous mocking of the more fantastic elements of the accounts of for example Pliny, Herodotus, Marco Polo,etc are enlightening and amusing, always a pleasant combination. He charts the vagaries of the Spice Route, the changes to it over the centuries and the reasons for those changes succintly and with plenty of clarity.

He is particularly effective in portraying the European incursion into the Indian Ocean and points further east from the late 15th Century and doesnt shirk from describing the more brutal and frankly monstrous aspects of this. Raiding rather than trading would be the more appropriate term for say the Portugese visits to the west coast of India, or the Dutch in Sumatra and the Spice Islands proper.

There are also some beautiful colour plates of people and places related to the Spice Route and a number of maps from different periods in which the development of geographical knowledge is given eloquent expression.

Thoroughly reccomended. As is John Keays The Honourable Company: History of the English East India Company which covers in particular the British involvement in Asia up to 1857.
22 Comments| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Please write at least one word
You must purchase at least one item from Amazon to post a comment
A problem occurred while submitting your comment. Please try again later.

There was a problem loading the comments at the moment. Please try again later.

Product Details

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star