The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado

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University of Chicago Press, Jun 23, 1997 - History - 398 pages
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"This brilliantly written reconstruction of Sir Walter Raleigh's 1595 South American journey combines painstaking scholarship, vivid travelogue, and an intuitive sensitivity for the many meanings of the El Dorado myth. . . . Nicholl brings this six-week expedition to life. . . . A rare treat for both intellect and imagination."—Kirkus Reviews

"Walter Raleigh . . . was one of those Elizabethan all-rounders who still seem staggeringly larger than life. . . . Mr. Nicholl's cogent reconstruction of the journey uses Raleigh's own account, 'The Discoverie of Guiana'—part truth, part advertising, part rhapsody—and much well-found ancillary material."—Anthony Bailey, New York Times

"Like The Reckoning, his brilliant account of the murder of Christopher Marlowe, Nicholl's new book might be called an exercise in historical conjuring. The Creature in the Map is an effort not only to analyse but also to call into presence the lived experience of the voyage Raleigh undertook in 1595 to the Orinoco Delta in what is now Venezuela."—Stephen Greenblatt, Times Literary Supplement

"Charles Nicholl belongs to an elite company, that of historians who know how to make research into arcane matters and distant times as engrossing as In Cold Blood or All the President's Men."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post
  

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The creature in the map: a journey to El Dorado

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the grand scheme of things, Sir Walter Raleigh's 1595 expedition to the Guiana Highlands of Venezuela did not count for much. English writer Nicholl, whose previous books have been travel ... Read full review

Review: The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado

User Review  - Patrick O'Mahony - Goodreads

Great book so far, I love the subject matter, but from the first twenty or so pages I like how he has written it... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Mapping El Dorado
9
Raleghs America
20
A Gentleman of Spain
32
Love and Exile
41
Preparations
49
The Crew
67
Atlantic Crossing
89
Canaima
222
Meeting Laime
228
Welcome to El Dorado
235
Downriver
249
Home
263
Ordinary Prizes
271
Balsam of Guiana
278
A Golden World
288

Trinidad
93
The Gulf of Sadness
109
The Delta
118
Tivitivas
128
The Medicine Man
138
The Guiana Bend
148
Dark Eyes
160
Lords of the Borders
175
Downtown Orinoco
188
Gold Rush
197
Jimmy Angel
211
On Red Cross River
304
The Shut Palace
314
Epilogue
327
The Sparry Papers
337
Raleghs Chart
344
The Fleet
349
Notes
357
Sources
377
Index
383
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Charles Nicholl has won numerous awards, including the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Prize for Biography. The author of "Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa" and "The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe," among other books. Nicholls articles have appeared in "Granta, Rolling Stone," and the "London Review of Books,

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