Marco Polo travelled to China in 1271 and spent the next twenty years in the service of Kublai Khan. He wrote his famous Travels after returning home, whilst a prisoner in Genoa.
Nigel Cliff was previously a theatre and film critic for The Times and a regular writer for The Economist, among other publications, and now writes historical nonfiction books. His first book, The Shakespeare Riots, was published in 2007 and shortlisted for the Washington-based National Award for Arts Writing. His second book, The Last Crusade: Vasco da Gama and the Birth of the Modern World, appeared in 2011 and was shortlisted for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize.
From the Hardcover edition.