A Pick From the History/Biography Book Club
Published on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 4:18pm
"On June 7, 1494, Pope Alexander VI divided the world in half, bestowing the western portion on Spain, and the eastern on Portugal."
So begins Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen. Magellan was Portuguese by birth, but having received funding from King Charles I of Spain, he was sailing for the Spanish crown in search of a western route to the Spice Islands. Due to an earlier dispute with King Manuel I of Portugal, his fleet of 5 ships left Spain with Portuguese naval forces in hot pursuit.
Magellan's expedition was able to avoid the Portuguese, even while trespassing through Portuguese territory, but they were sailing into the unknown. To reach the Spice Islands, the fleet needed to sail west across the Pacific Ocean, but no one at that time had any idea of the immense breadth of that ocean. Although the remnant of his fleet made it back to Spain, he himself did not live to see home again.
Over the Edge of the World is an exciting and powerful tale, allowing the reader to experience an important event in world history.
This book is available at the Tenley Library at call number 910.92/B4996. Other books on world travelers and explorers can also be found at 910.92.