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The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo

The Travels of Marco Polo

by Marco Polo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,443None2,516 (3.56)52
  1. 30
    The Travels of Ibn Battutah by Ibn Battutah (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: Both men traveled extensively in Medeival times. It's interesting to compare the two; one from a Western perspective, and one from a Middle Eastern /North African perspective.
  2. 10
    El Libro de Marco Polo by Marco Polo (caflores)
  3. 00
    Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen (JGolomb)
  4. 00
    Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (Torikton)
  5. 01
    The Journeyer by Gary Jennings (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Jennings tells 'the rest of the story' in this fictional work.

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English (17)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This version is the Wordsworth Classics edition - so it is the William Marsden translation, from 1818 minus the footnotes, which was based on the 1553 Giambattsia Ramusio edition. There are more modern translations but this was readable enough though a bit repetitive and best read in small doses.

Mostly it seems to be descriptions of towns and places that Polo might have visited during his years in China and the route taken to get there. There are some more interesting sections about life in the Great Khan's court and some sections about Tartar life and the battles and rivalries between some of the main characters of the time.

I'm pleased to have read it but it is probably one I will not return to. ( )
  calm | Sep 11, 2011 |
"Travels of Marco Polo" -- a ghostwritten account of Polo's travels around Asia-- was a really difficult book to get into. Many of the descriptions become tedious (countless people are described merely as idolators who eat flesh and drink milk...) The most interesting bits, which are sprinkled throughout the book, focus on Tartar military history -- the conquests of Kublai Khan and his relatives. I also really enjoyed Polo's retelling of various legends (such as the diamond encrusted fish...) Overall, it was worth wading through the long descriptions to get to the good stuff, but it isn't a book I'd ever pick up for a second reading. ( )
  amerynth | Aug 15, 2011 |
Have attempted to listen to this audio (downloaded from audible.co.uk) several but so far have had difficulty getting very far into it.

The narrator is distant and badly recorded - it sounds like he's recorded it down a phone line. The most animation in his voice comes when he stumbles over words he seems not to know but should have practised before recording. Italian in particular seems to be his sticking point - definately an issue when recording a narration of an Italian travelling to the far east! Otherwise his voice is flat and uninteresting - there is narely a breath or change in tone when announcing the chapter changes that happen on a regular basis and that could, nay should, be pulling the listener back to the recording. Instead, it becomes a background noise that is easily tuned out, and therefore missing the possibly fantastical story
  nordie | Jul 20, 2011 |
In the country are many wild elephants and rhinoceroses, which are much inferior in size to the elephant, but their feet are similar. Their hide resembles that of the buffalo. In the middle of their forehead they have a single horn; but with this weapon they do not injure those whom they attack, employing only for this purpose their tongue, which is armed with long, sharp spines, and their knees or feet; their mode of assault being to trample upon the person, and then to lacerate him with the tongue. Their head is like that of the wild boar, and they carry it low towards the ground. They take delight in muddy pools and are filthy in their habits. They are not of that description of animals which suffer themselves to be taken by maidens, as our people suppose, but are quite of a contrary nature.

Marco Polo's tale of his many years of travels in the second half of the 13th century. Together with his father and uncle, Marco Polo travelled via Central Asia to far Cathay, where they spent many years at the court of the Tartar emperor Kublai-Khan, before eventually returning to Venice by sea, via Indonesia, India and Abyssinia.

Very interesting, although it tends to be a bit repetitive, with the descriptions of numerous towns and cities starting off with phrases along the lines of "The inhabitants are idolaters, subjects of the Great Khan and use his paper money". ( )
  isabelx | Apr 17, 2011 |
In some of the books I read this past year about European explorers discovering the world, etc., this work by Marco Polo was referenced as having been inspirational to many of them, such as Columbus and Vespucci. So, I wanted to experience it myself. However, the reading became too tedious and many times just plain unbelievable. I skimmed the latter half of the book and had to stop. I suppose if I had read this in, say, 1450, I may have been inspired, too. But, in 2010, it was just disappointing. ( )
  bigmoose | May 28, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (329 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marco Poloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bellonci, MariaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waugh, TeresaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Øye, AgneteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corbino, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komroff, ManuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Latham, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masefield, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rugoff, MiltonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strizzi, SergioPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Book description
A Modern Translation by Teresa Waugh from the Italian by Maria Bellonci

It was one of Marco Polo's claims that he had travelled more extensively that any man since Creation. His account of his travels has for centuries delighted and inspired readers, including Christopher Columbus who possessed a much treasured and well-thumbed copy of The Travels.

Marco Polo was born in 1254, into a family of enterprising and succesful Venetian merchants. In 1271 he accompanied his father and uncle on their second visit to China and the court of Kublai Khan. Marco Polo adapted readily to Tartar customs and soon learnt their language. He proved himself an invaluable emissary of the Tartar ruler and spent the next seventeen years travelling in his service, enjoying a freedom of movement in the Mongol empire probably unequalled by any other European before or since. He travelled to areas as far afield as the Polar Sea and Jarva, Zanzibar and Japan. Some of the places he visited remained unseen by other Europeans for another 600 years, when Allied troops opened the Burma Road during the Second World War.

In 1298 Marco Polo was a prisoner of war in Genoa where he met the romance-writer Rustichello of Pisa, a fellow prisoner. Rustichello was quick to perceive that Marco Polo had a unique story to tell, covering as it did a vast panorama of nations and peoples - Persians, Turks, Tartars, Chinese, Tibetans, Indians, and many others - with all their strange and wonderful customs. Together the two Italians wrote The Travels. Marco Polo had an observant eye and a retentive memory. He was also quick-witted and resourceful, a practical traveller and a shrewd merchant. His vivid descriptions of all he saw and experienced resulted in one of the world's most remarkable books.

This new modern-English translation is beautifully illustrated with line drawings and sixty-four pages of stunning colour photographs from the television series on Marco Polo's travels, filmed with the full co-operation of the Chinese government.

Colour photography by Sergio Strizzi fron the film Marco Polo.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140440577, Paperback)

Marco Polo was the most famous traveller of his time. His voyages began in 1271 with a visit to China, after which he served the Kubilai Khan on numerous diplomatic missions. On his return to the West, he was made a prisoner of war and met Rustichello of Pisa, with whom he collaborated on this book. The accounts of his travels provide a fascinating glimpse of the different societies he encountered: their religions, customs, ceremonies and way of life; on the spices and silks of the East; on precious gems, exotic vegetation and wild beasts. He tells the story of the holy shoemaker, the wicked caliph and the three kings, among a great many others, evoking a remote and long-vanished world with colour and immediacy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:56 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This extraordinary travelogue has enthralled readers for more than seven centuries. Marco Polo's vivid descriptions of the splendid cities and people he encountered on his journey along the Silk Road through the Middle East, South Asia, and China opened a window for his Western readers onto the fascinations of the East and continued to grow in popularity over the succeeding centuries. To a contemporary audience, his colorful stories--and above all, his breathtaking description of the court of the great Kublai Khan, Mongol emperor of China--offer dazzling portraits of worlds long gone.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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