A new introduction by Colin Thubron describes why Marco Polo remains one of the most fascinating and informative introductions to China.
Peter Harris (Author) Peter Harris is a specialist in the political and cultural history of China. He is the founding Director of the Asian Studies Institute at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, and a Visiting Professor at Nanjing University, China. He has written, edited and translated numerous books on China and Asia. Other volumes he has edited for Everyman's Library include The Travels of Marco Polo, Zen Poems and Three Hundred Tang Poems. Colin Thubron (Introducer) Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books- Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier) and Shadow of the Silk Road. His most recent book is To a Mountain in Tibet (all available in Vintage). Colin Thubron was President of the Royal Society of Literature from 2010 to 2017.
The adventures of the Venetian merchant-traveler Polo (1254-1324), who traveled to Persia, China, Indonesia, and back, were written down by Rustichello di Pisa and published in the early 13th century. They have been popular ever since. This edition uses the 1871 translation by Yule, subsequently revised by Henri Cordier. The text is vigorous and stately. This beautiful book is a joy to hold, leaf through, and read. Not intended for scholars but rather for sophisticated lay readers, it will not fail to please its intended audience, so well constructed is it in every detail by editor Rossabi (history, Queens Coll., CUNY; Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists), from its well-chosen, lavish, and informative illustrations to its copious footnotes, which alert readers to the modern equivalents of Polo's terms, names, and locations. Forget the historical significance: this is one of the best travel narratives ever, written by an author with an acute eye and a lively imagination. It holds up even today. VERDICT Enthusiastically recommended. Though it may resemble a coffee-table book, this sumptuous edition will delight readers of all ages.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.