The story of the mysterious Zeno brothers, who explored parts of the New World a century before Columbus, and became both a source of scandal and a cause célèbre among geographers in the following centuries. This delightful journey begins with Andrea di Robilant’s serendipitous discovery of a travel narrative published in Venice in 1558 by the Renaissance statesman Nicolò Zeno: the text and its fascinating nautical map re-created the travels of two of the author’s ancestors, brothers who explored the North Atlantic in the 1380s and 1390s. Di Robilant set out to discover why later, in the nineteenth century, the Zenos’ account came under attack as one of the greatest frauds in geographical history. Was their map—and even their journey—partially or perhaps entirely faked? In IRRESISTABLE NORTH the author follows the Zenos’ route from the Faeroes to Shetland to Iceland and Greenland, greeted by characters who help unravel the enigmas in the Zenos’ account. The medieval world comes to life as di Robilant guides us through a landscape enlivened by the ghosts of power-hungry earls and bishops of the old Norwegian realm and magical tales of hot springs and smoking mountains. In this rich telling—an original work of history and a travel book in one—the magnetism of the north draws us in as powerfully as it drew the Zeno brothers more than six centuries ago. Chapters include: Making a Book; Messer Nicolò; Frislanda; Zichmni; Islanda; Estotiland, Drogio and Icaria; Engroneland; Squaring the Circle; Venetian Puzzle; more. Published at $25.95, our price only $16.95!
IRRESISTABLE NORTH: From Venice to Greenland on the Trail of the Zeno Brothers By Andrea di Robilant. 240 Pages. 6x9 Hardback. Illustrated. References. Index.
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