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The Travels of Marco Polo by Ronald Latham
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The Travels of Marco Polo (original 1928; edition 1968)

by Ronald Latham (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,162432,212 (3.59)92
A sparkling new translation of one of the greatest travel books ever written- Marco Polo's seminal account of his journeys in the east. 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 Kublai 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. His account of his travels offers a fascinating glimpse of what he encountered abroad- unfamiliar religions, customs and societies; the spices and silks of the East; the precious gems, exotic vegetation and wild beasts of faraway lands. Evoking a remote and long-vanished world with colour and immediacy, Marco's book revolutionized western ideas about the then unknown East and is still one of the greatest travel accounts of all time. For this edition - the first completely new English translation of the Travels in over fifty years - Nigel Cliff has gone back to the original manuscript sources to produce a fresh, authoritative new version. The volume also contains invaluable editorial materials, including an introduction describing the world as it stood on the eve of Polo's departure, and examining the fantastical notions the West had developed of the East.… (more)
Member:AntoineBarbier
Title:The Travels of Marco Polo
Authors:Ronald Latham (Translator)
Info:The Folio Society, 1996 Fifth Printing
Collections:Travel and Exploration, Folio Society, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Folio Society

Work Information

The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo (Author) (1928)

  1. 50
    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
    Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (Jannes, Jannes)
  3. 10
    El libro de Marco Polo by Marco Polo (caflores)
  4. 00
    Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen (JGolomb)
  5. 01
    The Journeyer by Gary Jennings (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Jennings tells 'the rest of the story' in this fictional work.
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» See also 92 mentions

English (33)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Polo’s way was paved by the pioneering efforts of his ancestors, especially his father, Niccolò, and his uncle, Maffeo. The family had traded with the Middle East for a long time, acquiring considerable wealth and prestige. Although it is uncertain if the Polos were of the nobility, the matter was of little importance in Venice, a city of republican and mercantile traditions.

Polo’s reticence concerning personal matters and the controversies surrounding the text, Polo’s reputation has suffered dramatic ups and downs. For some scholars, he was a brilliant young courtier, a man of prodigious memory, a most conscientious observer, and a successful official at the cosmopolitan court of the Mongol rulers. For others he was a braggart, a drifter ready to believe the gossip of ports and bazaars, a man with little culture, scant imagination, and a total lack of humour. Still others argue that he never went to China at all, noting that he failed, among other things, to mention the Great Wall of China, the use of tea, and the ideographic script of the Far East, and that contemporary Chinese records show no trace of Polo.

A more balanced view must take into account many factors, especially the textual problem and medieval ideas of the world. Modern scholarship and research have, however, given a new depth and scope to his work. It is generally recognized that he reported faithfully what he saw and heard, but that much of what he heard was fabulous or distorted. In any case, Polo’s account opened new vistas to the European mind, and as Western horizons expanded, Polo’s influence grew as well. His description of Japan set a definite goal for Christopher Columbus in his journey in 1492, while his detailed localizations of spices encouraged Western merchants to seek out these areas and break the age-old Arab trading monopoly. The wealth of new geographic information recorded by Polo was widely used in the late 15th and the 16th centuries, during the age of the great European voyages of discovery and conquest. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Oct 24, 2021 |
Fiction
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
A biography of the Venetian traveler whose trips throughout Asia and China gave the European world its first knowledge of the Far East.
This is the companion volume for Contemporaries of Marco Polo by the same publisher.
  Alhickey1 | Oct 13, 2020 |
Phew, finished it! My first comment would be that I had the cheapo Wordsworth Classics version, with minimal notes, and had to have computer going whole time to reference the places and people mentioned (most place names have changed hugely since thew 1200s) If you're planning to read it, DO get a better version!
It IS actually pretty interesting- to be transported into such an ancient, remote world by a European. In 3 (or in some versions 4) volumes, the reader is transported into the Polos' adventures.
Vol 1 starts with Marco's father and uncle taking off for a trading venture to Constantinople (leaving the pregnant wife of former in Venice)...and somehow just keeping going and ending up in Beijing with Kublai Khan. When they finally go home, the wife is dead and the unborn babe a 19 year old youth! They soon resume their travels with young Marco in tow. And here I'd have loved more info on the people involved- what was the motivation? Adventure, money (living gratis at the Great Khan's court)? Or missionary zeal? (The Khan wanted to learn more of the Church of Rome)? Vol 1 continues with short chapters on many places of Iran, Central Asia etc.
Vol 2 is given up to China, where they were based. Kublai Khan is treated with utter awe and respect; Marco is sent by him on various missions throughout the kingdom and continues the reports, many pretty samey and dull. Apparently Marco never actually got to many of the places included and relies on information from others.
Vol 3 takes us into SE Asia, Japan, Java, India, Zanzibar etc, as Marco is sent further afield. Those mongols surely did control,a ginormous realm!
And latter Vol 3(or Vol 4) focusses on battles between warring Mongol factions- uncle against nephew etc-through Turkey and beyond.
It's quite a read...interesting (somewhat) . ( )
  starbox | Apr 15, 2020 |
Reprint. Third volume of set originally a separate title (London : John Murray, 1920). 3 v. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (120 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Polo, MarcoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rusticiano da PisaAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Armiño, MauroEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Øye, AgneteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Badel, Pierre-YvesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bellonci, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bertolucci Pizzorusso, Valeriasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blay, Frédéric LeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Camesasca, EttoreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardona, Giorgio RaimondoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carrera Díaz, ManuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corbino, JonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Valle, ValeriaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dwiggins, W. A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friston, Adrian deIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Göransson, G.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gemme, Francis R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, WitoldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guignard, EliseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haakman, AntonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joki, Aulis J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonckheere, KarelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komroff, ManuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lapshin, Nikolai FodorovitchIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Latham, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malvano, Maria VittoriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsden, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masefield, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moule, Arthur ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Painter, Douglas M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pisa, Rustichello daAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricci, AldoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ronchi, GabriellaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rossabi, MorrisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rugoff, MiltonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segre, CesareForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strizzi, SergioPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
t'Serstevens, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tusseau, Jean-PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waugh, TeresaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yerasimos, StéphaneEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yule, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Venetian Marco Polo is not only the most renowned traveler in world history, but he and his book have generated more speculation then almost any other person or volume in world literature.
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A sparkling new translation of one of the greatest travel books ever written- Marco Polo's seminal account of his journeys in the east. 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 Kublai 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. His account of his travels offers a fascinating glimpse of what he encountered abroad- unfamiliar religions, customs and societies; the spices and silks of the East; the precious gems, exotic vegetation and wild beasts of faraway lands. Evoking a remote and long-vanished world with colour and immediacy, Marco's book revolutionized western ideas about the then unknown East and is still one of the greatest travel accounts of all time. For this edition - the first completely new English translation of the Travels in over fifty years - Nigel Cliff has gone back to the original manuscript sources to produce a fresh, authoritative new version. The volume also contains invaluable editorial materials, including an introduction describing the world as it stood on the eve of Polo's departure, and examining the fantastical notions the West had developed of the East.

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