Mandeville

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ISBN 9780571239276 Format Paperback
9780571239276
Paperback
Published 20/03/2008 Length 64 pages
64

About Book

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was one of the most popular books of the later Middle Ages. Purporting to describe the circumnavigation of an English knight through Africa, India, and the Middle East in 1322, the narrative is a fantastical collection of sights: seas, islands, phoenixes, pyramids, rocks that enchant ships and apes that contain human souls, interwoven with geographical descriptions that are perfectly accurate. Matthew Francis's new collection is a sequence of poems that celebrate and give voice to Mandeville, in his own words, caught as he is between physical and symbolic geographies, between a world that is round and one that has Jerusalem at its centre. And all of it narrated in the terse, solitary, conflicted and strangely passionate voice of this medieval Crusoe whose very existence was disputed.
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was one of the most popular books of the later Middle Ages. Purporting to describe the circumnavigation of an English knight through Africa, India, and the Middle East in 1322, the narrative is a fantastical collection of sights: seas, islands, phoenixes, pyramids, rocks that enchant ships and apes that contain human souls, interwoven with geographical descriptions that are perfectly accurate. Matthew Francis's new collection is a sequence of poems that celebrate and give voice to Mandeville, in his own words, caught as he is between physical and symbolic geographies, between a world that is round and one that has Jerusalem at its centre. And all of it narrated in the terse, solitary, conflicted and strangely passionate voice of this medieval Crusoe whose very existence was disputed.
  • About Matthew Francis

    Matthew Francis is the author of five Faber books of poetry, most recently The Mabinogi (2017). He has twice been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, and in 2004 was chosen as one of the Next Generation poets. He has also edited W. S. Graham's New Collected Poems, and published a collection of short stories and two novels, the second of which, The Book of the Needle (Cinnamon Press) came out in 2014. He lives in West Wales and is Professor in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University.

    Photo credit: Keith Morris / Hay Ffotos / Alamy Stock Photo

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