CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Navigator to the New World Immortals of History by D.J. Carrison

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Navigator to the New World Immortals of History

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Twenty-three juvenile biographies in print -- and the news is there's room for one more. For the young person interested in the facts of history rather than the thrills of exploration, this is an efficient marshalling of evidence for Columbus' identity, aspirations and achievements. The narrative lacks stylistic distinction and the pace is slowed, first by anticipating the future and filling in the background, later by details of cruising and contesting territory in the West Indies. But the author shows a welcome concern for routing accumulated legends -- rather than offering to sell her crown jewels to finance Columbus' first voyage, Queen Isabella ""was very clever in spreading the cost of the expedition and even persuaded Columbus to put up some money himself;"" he handles with straight-forward simplicity the facts of the Admiral's life, his extra-marital union and his illegitimate son; and he gives appropriate emphasis to Columbus' weaknesses and inconsistencies: ""his poor administration was responsible for unusually cruel and harsh treatment of the Tanos Indians of Hispaniola"" including ""torture, rape and murder."" Two recent books -- Quest of Columbus (117, J-49) and Across the Ocean Sea (989, J-329) offer original sources, skillfully edited, but not for many years (C. Walter Hodges' Columbus Sailed, 1939, comes to mind) has there been a comparably full treatment of the whole life. Mr. Carrison, a naval officer, is especially adapt at evoking the Navigator to the New World, but he does not neglect the family man and the man with a thwarted mission. For the determined reader, a recompense in documented knowledge; for the seeker of specifics, clear organization and a detailed index.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Watts