A deep intellectual curiosity and a medieval, militant Christianity were the diverse motivations that made Prince Henry the Navigator seek the transition of Portugal from a feudal, agricultural dominion to a maritime power and advance herald of the Renaissance. In his quest for victory of cross over crescent, he was deterred neither by adversities in war nor by the jealousies of many to whom his attitudes were sometimes unclear. At the age of 21, he encouraged Portugal's attack on Ceuta, Moorish stronghold on the Strait of Gibraltar, in order that he might win his knighthood in a way more honorable than tournament listing. This was a prelude to a lifetime of deep interest in African exploration and exploitation; it was Henry who guided Portugal's naval doctrines and opened the minds of Europeans to the value of better communications and increased trade with other parts of the world. His motto, ""a desire to do well,"" is a typical part of the life story of this intrepid, conscientious, and warmly human nobleman. His biography has been expertly handled to give a picture of his excellent character and the excitement of his time.