The Book of John Mandeville
The Book of John Mandeville has tended to be neglected by modern teachers and scholars, yet this intriguing and copious work has much to offer the student of medieval literature, history, and culture. [It] was a contemporary bestseller, providing readers with exotic information about locales from Constantinople to China and about the social and religious practices of peoples such as the Greeks, Muslims, and Brahmins. The Book first appeared in the middle of the fourteenth century and by the next century could be found in an extraordinary range of European languages: not only Latin, French, German, English, and Italian, but also Czech, Danish, and Irish. Its wide readership is also attested by the two hundred fifty to three hundred medieval manuscripts that still survive today. Chaucer borrowed from it, as did the Gawain-poet in the Middle English Cleanness, and its popularity continued long after the Middle Ages.
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