World of Marco Polo

World of Marco Polo

by Walter Buehr
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Hardcover, 91 pages
Not in stock

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The thirteenth-century world of Marco Polo was an exciting and colorful one. Venice was a great center of trade, where merchants came from the North to buy exotic treasures from the East. Few Christians ventured beyond the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, for the country beyond was controlled by Saracens, who had drawn an "iron curtain" against all Christians. Far, far beyond, across thousands of miles of wild country filled with ferocious beasts and warlike tribes, lay the great civilization of China, then called Cathay.

Few men would have dared to undertake a voyage. But Marco Polo was descended from fearless explorers who traveled far in search of rich treasures to trade. As a small boy, he had listened spellbound to the strange tales told by his father and uncle—tales of the fierce Tartars, and the great Eastern rulers, Ghengis and Kublai Khan. He was only seventeen when he joined them on their next perilous journey, halfway around the world.

With the same clarity and colorful authenticity which distinguished The Crusaders, and Knights and Castles and Feudal Life, Mr. Buehr describes the voyages of these adventurers, and the fabulous world they discovered—a civilization so amazing that, after Marco Polo's final return to Venice, many did not believe the account he wrote of his travels. Most splendid of his discoveries was the magnificently opulent palace of Kublai Khan, which the author describes in vivid detail—with a richly decorated banquet hall where ten thousand would gather to enjoy exotic food and drink, while jugglers, singers, dancers and musicians lavishly entertained them. We learn about the customs and administration of this country, more highly civilized than any other place in the world at that time, perhaps more colorful than any place since. 

History has vindicated Marco Polo, whose tales were doubted by the people of Venice even on his deathbed. We know that the fantastic things he described were true; and young readers of today can enjoy a glimpse into that world through Mr. Buehr's informative text and vivid, accurate illustrations. 

—from the dust jacket

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