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The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado Hardcover – Import, 1 March 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Product description

Amazon.com Review

In May 1595, a hundred Englishmen - "gentlemen, soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, boys, and of all sorts" - rowed up a river in South America in search of the lost golden city of El Dorado. They were led by Sir Walter Ralegh, forty years old, ready to hazard his fading reputation on this doomed gamble.

Four hundred years later Charles Nicholl follows their trail into the strange terrain of this enduring international obsession. The journey begins with Ralegh's curious "charte" in the British Museum and leads through the labrynthine delta of the Orinoco River and up to the rugged highlands of southern Venezuela. In this vivid reconstruction, Charles Nicholl blends solid historical scholarship with idiosyncratic modern reportage in a unique and entertaining mix

From Booklist

There's a wealth of interest and excitement in this recounting of two quests. The first quest was Sir Walter Raleigh's futile search for the legendary city of El Dorado in the Venezuelan highlands in 1595; the second is the author's research and on-site investigations into the often murky particulars of Raleigh's expeditions. In 1595 Raleigh's fortunes were on the wane. His efforts at colonizing Virginia had failed, he had lost favor at the English court, and his finances had declined. Thus his search for the city takes on the stench of frenzied, cockeyed desperation. Comparisons are made with the ill-fated, half-mad efforts of Spanish explorer Aguirre (who was depicted in the movie The Wrath of God), and they seem apt. At times, Nicholl's research efforts seem equally obsessive, particularly since he recognizes the futility, absurdity, and historical insignificance of Raleigh's efforts. Perhaps it was the combination of madness and "nobility" that Nicholls found compelling. Whatever drew Nicholls to his quest, readers both general and specialist should find the trip well worth their time. Jay Freeman

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow & Co (1 March 1996)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 398 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0688146007
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0688146009
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 454 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.51 x 3.81 x 24.13 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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