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The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

Sir John Mandeville

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Vale of Mamre, and some-time it was clept the Vale of Tears, because that Adam wept there an hundred year for the death of Abel his son, that Cain slew.  Hebron was wont to be the principal city of the Philistines, and there dwelled some time the giants.  And that city was also sacerdotal, that is to say, sanctuary of the tribe of Judah; and it was so free, that men received there all manner of fugitives of other places for their evil deeds.  In Hebron Joshua, Caleb and their company came first to aspy, how they might win the land of Behest.  In Hebron reigned first king David seven year and a half; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three year and a half.

And in Hebron be all the sepultures of the patriarchs, Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob; and of their wives, Eve, Sarah and Rebecca, and of Leah; the which sepultures the Saracens keep full curiously, and have the place in great reverence for the holy fathers, the patriarchs that lie there.. . . Read More

Community Reviews

It took me quite awhile to read this odd book and I had to force myself to finish it. If I hadn't been reading it in tandem with The Novel: A Biography I suspect I'd have wandered away from it and not come back. When I'd finished it, I read the introduction, though, which helped me put the book in c

And if some men perhaps will not believe me about what I have said, and say it is all a fable … I do not really care. But let the man who will, believe it; and leave him alone who will not. … And so I am not going to stop myself telling you things that I know are true because of those who are ign

A great book and a very silly one.

John Mandeville in all likelihood did not exist, and almost certainly did not travel to anywhere that he described. Even if he lived, and did travel, he would've lied more about what he saw than told any truth, because so much of what he writes about is bizarre and

Michael Schmidt opens The Novel: A Biography making a case for this as a protonovel. The first person narrator, he points out, has a real and consistent personality; the various sources, from Herodotus to Prester John, are woven together seamlessly; there is a plot arc and our protagonist returns di

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