Marco Polo's Journey to China

Overview

Can one book really change the world? A handwritten manuscript by Marco Polo in 1288 did. Polo, son of a wealthy Italian merchant, wrote about his incredible experiences traveling to China with his father and uncle on a trade expedition, and also about his adventures as an envoy of Kublai Khan, the ruler of most of China. Polo's book became a bestseller in Europe in the fourteenth century. It was copied over and over by hand, translated into fourteen languages, and became one of the first books to be printed ...
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Overview

Can one book really change the world? A handwritten manuscript by Marco Polo in 1288 did. Polo, son of a wealthy Italian merchant, wrote about his incredible experiences traveling to China with his father and uncle on a trade expedition, and also about his adventures as an envoy of Kublai Khan, the ruler of most of China. Polo's book became a bestseller in Europe in the fourteenth century. It was copied over and over by hand, translated into fourteen languages, and became one of the first books to be printed after the invention of moveable type. The tales inspired others—including Christopher Columbus in the fifteenth century—to seek new sea routes for trade. Polo's adventures—and manuscript—are one of world history's most pivotal moments.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8 This account fills in the many holes that are found throughout Polo's own accounts of his 24 years in Asia. Childress reconstructs the worlds of 13th-century Venice and China and the Mongol courts of Genghis and Kublai Khan, providing cultural and political context for the journey. Although Polo's descriptions of the various places in Asia that he visited are rich with detail, he omitted specifics such as the actual route or modes of transportation. Childress makes a point to overcome this deficit by using thorough research from a variety of sources, and often points out many of the irregularities and obvious exaggerations in the explorer's account. The writing sometimes feels pedantic and the overall story of Marco Polo and his adventures is occasionally lost in the historical details. Photographs, period artwork, and copies of manuscripts are dotted throughout, providing visual stimulation. Sidebars balance the scholarly tone and break up the narrative. Thorough source notes, a time line, a cast of important figures, and a lengthy explanation of the difference between primary and secondary sources are useful additions. While this title lacks the beauty and lyricism of Russell Freedman's The Adventures of Marco Polo (Scholastic, 2006), it is a fine addition for libraries looking to solidify their exploration collections.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822559030
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Series: Pivotal Moments in History Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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