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New Medieval Books: A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages

A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages: The World through Medieval Eyes

By Anthony Bale

W.W. Norton and Company
ISBN: 978-1-324-06457-2

A look at how travellers from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries went from Europe to other parts of the medieval world, ranging as far as Ethiopia and China. The book focuses on what the experience would have been like to visit various cities and places, kind of like a travel guide should be.


In this book I take medieval travel guides and travellers’ reports as my sources. The reader will encounter a wide range of medieval travellers, who step in and out of the following pages; like the people we meet when travelling, they may make an impression but not stick around for long. In what follows, I evoke the world as medieval people thought about it, conjuring locales that were frequently written about but not always visited. The travellers we meet may not always be sympathetic to our tastes, but that is often true of those we encounter when we are on the road.


Who is this book for?

This book could serve as a very good introduction to those interested in travel literature and travellers in the Middle Ages. It also allows the reader to get insights into the many cultures and countries of the late medieval world.

The author

Anthony Bale is Professor of Medieval Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, where he researches relations between Christians and Jews in medieval England as well as the culture of medieval pilgrimage. You can learn more about him from his Wikipedia page or follow Anthony on X/Twitter @RealMandeville


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