The Book of John Mandeville: with Related Texts

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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.

Also included are notes setting the work in its historical and cultural context and selections from related texts, including significant textual variants from William of Boldensele’s Book of Certain Regions beyond the Mediterranean and Odoric of Pordenone’s Relatio.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872209350
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Abbreviations xxvii

The Book of John Mandeville 1

Appendix A Variants and Versions 187

1 The Insular and Continental French Versions 187

2 The Interpolated Continental (Liege) Version 192

3 Three English Versions 199

4 Two German Versions 203

5 The Vulgate Latin Version 206

Appendix B The Sources of The Book of John Mandeville 219

1 William of Boldensele, Book of Certain Regions beyond the Mediterranean (Excerpt) 221

2 (Pseudo-)William of Tripoli, Treatise on the State of the Saracens (Excerpt) 235

3 Odoric of Pordenone, Account (Excerpt) 246

4 How to Mount a Crusade Overseas (Excerpt) 255

5 Hay ton of Armenia, Flower of the Histories of the Land of the East (Excerpt) 257

Appendix C Contexts and Commentary 260

1 A Note on Geography and Cosmology 260

2 A Note on the Astrolabe 265

3 A Note on the Alphabets 266

4 A Note on the Account of the Sultans in Chapter 6 270

5 A Note on the Mongol Emperors and Their Early Empire 271

Works Cited and Select Bibliography 273

Index of Scriptural and Related Citations in Latin 283

Select Index of Proper Names 285

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