Dr. Hart, student, lecturer, authority on the Far East, is well equipped to write this biography of Marco Polo, based on exhaustive research of contemporary documents. He has attempted and succeeded in presenting Marco Polo in relation to his times. Much of the period backgrounds, customs, manners etc. given for the various countries of the travels. The story is a familiar one, -- the original journey of the Polo brothers to the almost mythical court of Kublai Khan, the return there later of Marco, a boy of 17, sharp witted, tenacious, eager. Palestine to Armenia to Persia across the Gobi to Cathay. Life at the court of Kublai Khan, where Marco, a special protege, became his special emissary and travelled further. Then the return to Venice, after 25 years; boredom until war between the Venetians and the Genoans livened things up a bit up to the point when he became a prisoner, and spent five years as such in Genoa. Then marriage at forty odd, and his last years of discontent, becoming more and more grasping, querulous and quarrelsome. Beautiful piece of bookmaking, with many reproductions of old prints and paintings. The telling is somewhat formal, in the manner of the times.