Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe

by Laurence Bergreen
4.4 68

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Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
gruntled More than 1 year ago
If all history were written in the style in which Bergreen takes up the Ferdinand Magellan's pioneering circumnavigation of the world (at a time when seamen still feared either being overwhelmed by sea monsters or falling off the edge of the world), teachers would find many more of their students eager to study history. On practically every page the reader is treated to well researched insights into the state of navigational technology and cartography as well as anthropological awareness in the early sixteen century. Indeed, the reader feels himself a passenger on one of Magellan's fragile ships as the fleet slowly, and at great loss, batters its way through what later would be known as the Straits of Magellan and the tumultuous and unanticipated expanse of the Pacific Ocean for a cargo of spices then worth far more than their weight in gold. The present-day relevance of this extraordinary account becomes apparent as the reader realizes that this early intercontinental exploration parallels, in many ways, the stage we are at and the unknown dangers we confront in present-day interplanetary exploration. Although the frontiers are now incredibly more distant, the courage required of the seamen five centuries ago was no less than that displayed by our astronauts. The reader should be cautioned at the beginning of this book to fasten his/her seat-belt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had me hooked from the beginning. The oceanic explorers were the most daring people alive in the 16th century and Magellan epitomized the type: driven, intelligent, wily, and strangely also rigid and unbending in many ways that eventually came to undo him. Bergreen is an excellent storyteller weaving the narrative of this journey skillfully with flashbacks and foreshadowing. Highly recommend this book to all interested in the people who dared to conquer the superstition and mystery that was the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Over the Edge of the World is a great book that keeps you turning pages. It is written as it could be a novel with great detail but Begreen summarizes each main passage of the importance of what had just happened and why it happened. It is easy to read, and makes you want to keep reading. The subject is very interesting and really brings you back to that time. Highly reccomended
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bergreen's book transported me to the world inhabited by Magellan and his contemporaries...the account is so exciting that it reads like a novel. I agree about the map issue that was brought up by another reader and also found myself wishing there were more maps interspersed throughout the text. However, the maps that were provided were beautifully done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The words amazing, riveting and gripping are often overused. When it comes to describing the events and characters that undertook the first-recorded European circumnavigation of the globe - no other words would do justice. This is by far the most richly detailed, deeply historic account of the Renaissance equivalent of space travel. No other book has fired my imagination or passion for the history of this period than Bergreen's 'Over the Edge of the World'. If you love adventure, the ocean and a tale as epic as Homer's Odyssey, you will love this book. CS Acta New York, New York
Anonymous 11 months ago
I have almost 500 books in my e reader yet I read this one again. Loved it, obviously. Well-written page-turner even though you know the end. Meticulously documented yet great historic fiction. My favorite book, overall. Melodee Cole, Palm Springs, CA
KristinAZ More than 1 year ago
Perfect balance of adventure and backstory. So much I didn't know!
DPAULFENTON More than 1 year ago
Great work. Enjoyable journey with magellen. Great read and interesting. If I was Magellen however, I would ask the cruise company for my money back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written. Highly recommemded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though a bit tedius at the start, this summary of Magellan's voyage around the world is a surprisingly entertaining account.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
alexphilAU More than 1 year ago
For every Filipino like me, Magellan's voyage to the Spice Islands in 1521 is a very important fact of history. This is because it brought about the first contact between the Orientals and the Europeans, that was recorded. Bergreen's rendition of the voyage is compelling and oozing with very interesting details. From his storytelling we can see the very hard experience that Magellan and his men went through in finding the straight that leads to the Pacific ocean, the Philippines and ultimately: the Spice Islands, the main reason for the trip. Perhaps it will take another decade or two before another book of this caliber will be printed. This is pure history, well researched and interestingly presented for the modern day reader. Aside from the Pigafetta codex, Bergreen has exhausted all the possible sources to write this powerful history of the first voyage around the world or as codex in the Escorial would say "Il Premiere viaggio il mundo",
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely yes!! Kept me up for three nights. Amazing. We never learned history the way it is presented here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was instantly caught up in sixteenth century Spanish/Portugal politics, the manners and beliefs of that period, and mostly the amazing quest of Magellan who was obsessed with finding a new route to the Spice Islands. Fiction could never be this good. I was completely caught up with how the sailors felt as they were lost for months on the Pacific, fearful that sea monsters were real or wondering if they would sail off the edge of the world. Their discovery of new lands and people could be compared to space travel for us today and meeting aliens. I couldn't put this book down and recommend it for anyone who loves history, and especially for those who think history is boring.
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History come to life with interesting stories of courage, daring and discovery at sea. Highly recommended !
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wprincess More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was almost like being with them on the voyage. I kept thinking about it long after I finished reading. Magellan has long been a hero of mine to have pulled off such a daring voyage. I can hardly wait to read Bergreen's other books. wprincess
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