This biography of the Venetian-English explorer John Cabot, who collided with the North American coast in 1497 and 1498 while on his way to Asia, evidences the same urge to unearth scholarly treasures as Miss Hill's successful Glooscap and His Magic--but this one is not successful. Miss Hill has unfortunately chosen a mild, sudsy fictional wash to fill in the massive gaps between the fascinating shreds of available evidence. Therefore we have an improbable meeting at sea between Amerigo Vespucci and Cabot (Cabot unwittingly ""doing"" North America; Vespucci Spanish-ing up the South) with Amerigo breaking the news that Cabot is sailing in Spanish waters. Maps are unfurled and--by golly! But explorers are reasonable men, and respective territories are marked out. The reconstructions of Cabot's geophysical calculations are more likely and convincing, but a presentation with commentary of the original sources would have been much more rewarding and useful. As for the fleshing out of Cabot's early life--too much fat, no muscle.