#FREE BOOK ⚢ Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe ë eBook or E-pub free

Synopsis In 1519 Spain and Portugal dominated the seas, and spice, which the author states was the oil of the time, enveloped both countries in an intense rivalry for control of the spice trade Why couldn t both countries share the wealth Well, after Columbus had reported his New World discoveries back in 1493 to the Pope, both countries got into it over territory A bit later the Pope divided the world into two parts, half belonging to Spain and half belonging to Portugal I had to go and look this up because it is somewhat confusing I studied East Asian history, not medieval Spanish history Anyway, the Treaty of Tordesillas was born, and this line of demarcation meant that within the Portuguese zone, the Portuguese could claim lands newly discovered the same for Spain within theirs However, the spice trade was incredibly lucrative, according to the author, bringing money than gold ever could Thus the equivalent of the arms race was born, with Spain wanting control of lands yielding spices and the Portuguese in control of maps with routes leading to the sources of spice kept under lock and key, highly guarded state secrets Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan wanted to lead an expedition for his king to the spice Islands and a new way of getting there However, politically, Magellan was on the wrong side of the fence so every time he asked the king turned him down Finally out of exasperation, he begged the king to let him seek his fortune elsewhere, the king relented and Magellan went to Spain to offer his services Not knowing what to make of this, those in charge in Spain listened, ruminated, and allowed Magellan his expedition, yet with some controls For example, one of the nephews a euphemism for illegitimate sons of high ranking bishops, popes, etc of a bishop with ties to ther oyal house was sent on the mission, because even though Magellan had turned over Portuguese charts, etc, and declared his loyalty to Spain, the Spanish could never be certain of him Soto make a long story short, eventually Magellan and his little fleet began their adventure, not only to find the spice islands claim them for Spain, but to try to discover a water route of which the Portuguese had no knowledge The result of his voyage was tragic for everyone but Spain, in the long run You ve all heard of the Straits of Magellan, so the outcome is no big surprisebut the story of the fleet getting to that point and then to the death of Magellan is the meat of this book In fact, the book to the point of Magellan s death is perfect I was so into the story that another long night of reading ensued until I realized at 3 am that I had to be up at 6 30 and probably needed rest Not only did the author use a great source in the voice of the voyage s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, to give details, but he also supplied references to works that would have been familiar at the time to sailors, including fantastic stories of Pliny and Marco Polo of sea monsters cyclopean type natives, etc etc I have to go find those now read them for myself After seeking out and reading reviews of this book, I noticed that many current readers thought that Bergreen failed to provide answers to certain details Pigafetta had mentioned, such as giants among the Patagonian natives Well, you can t have everything that certainly didn t spoil the reading for me, although I did find myself wondering What wasn t explained was certainly than made up for in the author s story of the voyage up to Magellan s death It seems to me, though, that after that point, the book lapsed Of course, Bergreen has to get the survivors of the skirmishes back to Spain and tell what happened, but IMHO, the ardor depth with which the author told the story up to that time just vanished That doesn t mean it wasn t good, by any stretch I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the subject matter The details of the problems caused by the need to convert the poor natives along the way to Catholicism are great without armchair quarterbacking from the view of time knowledge you can just see what this led to in later voyages and with what zeal the missionaries were going to screw up the rest of the the islanders natives not yet discovered. 3.5 stars This book is well researched and makes for relatively interesting reading But I think it suffers from a misleading subtitle I mean, there s nothing PARTICULARLY terrifying about the circumnavigation, other than the fact that no one knew where they were going And, like, the fact that a bunch of their ships sank But that almost seems to be glossed over and therefore has very little impact The part that was most interesting for me is the sections where the armada reached the Philippines Because Magellan really went and got himself killed A society that caters to female sexual pleasure and where female virginity isn t considered sacred WE MUST BURN IT TO THE GROUND Oh, shit They re angry now slow clap with resting bitch face I meanSERIOUSLY So anyway, Magellan dies like 3 4 of the way through the book The rest felt kind of rushed to me I mean, they didn t run into any major dramas on the way back to Spain, but STILL When it took them like a year to get from the Philippines back to Spain, you d have thought there d be dedicated to it than three chapters And yet So ultimately, it was well written and well researched But it wasn t always the most attention grabbing story. #FREE BOOK ´ Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe Ç The Riveting Story Of Ferdinand Magellan S Historic , Mile Ocean Voyage Prodigious Research, Sure Footed Prose And Vivid Descriptions Make For A Thoroughly Satisfying Account It Is All Here In The Wondrous Detail, A First Rate Historical Page Turner New York Times Book Review Ferdinand Magellan S Daring Circumnavigation Of The Globe In The Sixteenth Century Was A Three Year Odyssey Filled With Sex, Violence, And Amazing Adventure Now In Over The Edge Of The World, Prize Winning Biographer And Journalist Laurence Bergreen Entwines A Variety Of Candid, Firsthand Accounts, Bringing To Life This Groundbreaking And Majestic Tale Of Discovery That Changed Both The Way Explorers Would Henceforth Navigate The Oceans And History Itself Are schoolkids taught about Ferdinand Magellan any The reason I ask is because I do remember reading in a textbook about Magellan s around the world trip and how he had been the first person at least documented to do so That led me, all these years later, to deciding to read this book and learn than just some superficial facts about his voyage I am glad I did so, and I think most people with an interest in world history or exploration will also find this to be an engaging read.Laurence Bergreen begins the book by examining the state of the world in the late 1400s early 1500s Basically, with help from the Vatican, the world was cut into two spheres of influence a Spanish half and a Portuguese half The Spice Islands, halfway around the world in the Pacific Ocean, were coveted by both countries due to the lucrative cloves and spices that grew in abundance there Bergreen then introduces Magellan a man of strong convictions who managed to anger people easily A Portuguese, he ultimately defected to Spain after numerous failed attempts to get funding from King Manuel He found interest from Spanish King Charles, despite the difference in nationality and the tense relations between the two countries Indeed, Magellan s nationality would plague him throughout the voyage, despite his remaining loyal to King Charles The book really gets going with the voyage Five ships set out, only two returned and one of those two never made it all the way around the world Neither did Magellan, as he was foolishly killed in a completely unnecessary battle that he himself provoked with a tribe in the Philippines Once Magellan got an idea into his head, it seemed impossible to get it out The purpose of his mission was to obtain shiploads of spices and bring them back to Spain conversion to Christianity was a distant second something that would be nice if it could be accomplished amicably and if there was time, but not something that was imperative But to Magellan it was, and when one tribe chose to rebuff his conversion efforts, he responded by torching one of their villages As you can imagine, that did not go over too well, and the end result for him and some others was decidedly not pretty While I did not feel sorry for Magellan, it is too bad that he bumbled so foolishly into his own death Afterwards, the remaining crew and ships one had mutinied off the coast of South America and sailed back to Spain, another boat had been destroyed, and a third soon would be , did locate the Spice Islands and they did take on loads of the spices that they so eagerly sought But the expedition lost its steadying hand, the one person that kept them on track Discipline, incredibly harsh and sometimes gruesome by today s standards, deteriorated rapidly Eventually, one of the ships did make it all the way back to Spain, but only after many men died in fact, most of the men who set out from Seville, Spain never made it back , and endured incredibly hardships thanks to life at sea, notably scurvy Bergreen does a great job of mixing in cogent analysis about Magellan and the other major characters involved, including the expedition s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta Thanks to Pigafetta, who took copious notes throughout almost the entire length of the voyage, we are able to learn what happened Bergreen parses these notes well, reading between the lines and, where possible, comparing Pigafetta s notes and descriptions to some of the others who kept ship logs He also includes a good epilogue about what happened when the voyage ended, and how Magellan s travels impacted future expeditions Grade A This is the third Bergreen book I ve read While all are good and recommended, neither this book on Magellan nor his recent book Marco Polo From Venice to Xanadu meet the very high standards of his earlier Louis Armstrong An Extravagant Life.The lay out of chapters, divided every page or so, makes this a faster read than its 400 pages imply While it s easily readable, it is not totally satisfying I can t fully identify the problem in separating why this good book 4 star shouldn t be a very good 5 star book.The prose seems to be weaker than that of the Armstrong biography and having given my copy of Armstrong away, I can t fully or verify this Like the Polo biography, this kind of travel book should have MAPS The NASA maps seem to be filler, as though the publisher could not or would not find and label maps that fit the text.The portrait of Magellan is not consistent While his navigational skills are unparalleled on this mission, his Christianity is warped He is burning huts of people who can t even understand his language because they won t bow to his god This is not insignificant for Magellan, the voyage or the afthermath Bergreen seems to want to avoid a discussion of Magellan s hubris. A great adventure by the daring men who first circumnavigated the globe Interesting lessons that some parties ought to have paid attention to For example, torture was commonly used for discipline on board ships in the early 16th century one of the techniques used was adopted from the Spanish Inquisition it involved pouring water into a man s nose and mouth to make him think he s drowning sound familiar I had long known Magellan didn t complete the voyage he was killed in the Phillipine Islands, but I didn t know the circumstances Essentially, he took his eye off the ball The mission of his voyage was to reach the Spice Islands and return laden with cloves Before finding them, he got sidetracked in trying to convert Phillipine Islanders to Christianity and involving his armada in political intrigue between the cheiftains of neighboring islands, the nuances of whose culture he clearly did not understand On behalf of one chief he launched an invasion of another island, eschewing the use of the first chief s troops in favor of his own small force with its superior weapons armor, crossbows, and crude guns Upon reaching the target island he found himself greatly outnumbered, and in ingnominious defeat was literally hacked to death in the surf This sounded just too much like a recent ill conceived adventure by someone who veered from the proper target. I have sometimes idly wondered what it must have been like to have been with Columbus, Magellan, Cook, and others when they first encountered new lands, and when societies with no previous knowledge of each other met for the first time This book provides some wonderful descriptions of how Magellan s fleet encountered the natives of Patagonia, and of Guam, as well as their wonderment at the journey through what is now the Strait of Magellan In contrast, when the Spanish fleet arrived at what is now the Philippines, they entered a world that was part of a trading network that covered the whole of Eastern and Southern Asia, and the local people showed no particular surprise at the arrival of a new trading fleet When they eventually arrived at the fabled Spice Islands, they entered territory that the Portuguese had been visiting for some years, although of course the Portuguese sailed via the Indian Ocean Magellan s fleet was the first to have sailed west across the Atlantic before crossing the Pacific.It was an astounding achievement, and the author honours it with an entertaining and at times a jaw dropping narrative It s a story that combines casual cruelty and copious amounts of skulduggery alongside astonishing courage and resilience.There was one little aside that especially appealed to me The survivors of Magellan s expedition are described as the first humans to circumnavigate the globe They probably were, and were certainly the first to do so in a single voyage However, it seems that Magellan brought with him a slave whom he called Enrique , whom he had purchased in Malacca many years before When the fleet arrived amongst the islands of the Philippines, Enrique found he could immediately talk in the local language It s tempting to think that he had originally been taken from these islands to Malacca If so, he would have been the first person to have made it back home after circumnavigating the globe, albeit his journey was made in stages over many years Good for you Enrique Even though I already knew the broad outline of the events in this book, the author succeeds in conveying the kind of excitement that normally comes with fiction A great adventure story. Portuguese Navigator, first to sail around the world to establish a westbound route to the spice rich Moluccas That s the schoolbook snap shot of Magellan Maybe you also know he didn t actually make it Killed in the Philippines But do you know he had been a soldier who fought in Morroco, India, and the Far East, was many times wounded, and walked with a limp as a result That he had actually gone to the Moluccas as a member of a Portuguese expedition sailing east That he tried for years and years to get an exploration fleet funded to sail to the Spice Islands by sailing west Or that he didn t sail for Portugal, but for Spain How about that once his expedition was at sea in September of 1519, he faced almost constant mutiny from his largely Spanish officers, Castilians to boot Here, the Captain General of the five ship Armada de Molucca emerges as both a subtle, keenly intelligent, and utterly ruthless strategist and tactician The mutinous officers took over three of his ships while the fleet was wintering in 1520 in Port Saint Julian on the east coast of South America Magellan brilliantly retook them one by one He had the mutineers tortured and two of their bodies drawn and quartered and displayed for the crews to see for the remainder of the time in port The lesson was unmistakable the only thing worse than the misery of obeying Magellan, and freezing or sailing into storms or even over the edge of the world as some crew members still believed possible, despite a round earth being accepted among navigators , was disobeying him.He succeeded in becoming the first to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the first European to cross the Pacific Landing on several Philippine islands, Magellan accepted warm welcomes but demonstrated the utter folly of opposing him by showing off the explosive force of the fleet s guns and his soldiers immunity to arrows and swords when wearing suits of armor But on Mactan Island, in April 1521, he was either too over confident or suffered lapses in his tactics, and the author takes you right inside the battle scene.Then the book shifts back to Seville where a mutinous ship of the fleet returns and describes Magellan s actions in the worst possible terms Meanwhile, the remaining two ships strive to complete the expedition to the Spice Islands Although they do, only the Victoria with just eighteen survivors returns to Seville in September of 1522 Even though Victoria brought back the true story in the diary of one the officers, the mutineers version dominated Magellan s reputation for many years The degree of Magellan s accomplishment perhaps appears clearest in the simple fact that, despite numerous attempts, it was not duplicated until eighty years later by Sir Francis Drake.Really well paced Richly detailed Definitely holds your interest from start to finish. It was a dream as old as the imagination a voyage to the ends of the earth I could hardly believe this is a non fiction book The way Lawrence Bergreen tells it, it rivals the greatest epics of literature, with Magellan a mythical figure to rival Jason or Ulysses Every word of the book is supported by contemporary documents and whatever speculation was needed in the absence of facts is balanced by presenting the alternative points of view Bergreen convinced me with his very first book I read that he belongs to the top of his class of historians, not mainly through the thoroughness of his research but mostly through the passion for the subject that jumps out of every page and for the clarity, ease and focus of his prose that informs without drowning the reader in trivia or footnotesVictoria and her ravaged little crew were all that was left, a ghost ship haunted by the memory of than two hundred absent sailors Many had died an excruciating death, some from scurvy, others by torture, and a few by drowning Worse, Magellan, the Captain General, had been brutally killed Despite her brave name, Victoria was not a ship of triumph, she was a vessel of desolation and anguish.And yet, what a story those few survivors had to tell a tale of mutiny, of orgies on distant shores, and of the exploration of the entire globe A story that changed the course of history and the way we look at the world In the Age of Discovery, many expeditions ended in disaster and were quickly forgotten, yet this one, despite the misfortunes that befell it, became the most important maritime voyage ever undertaken.His other strongpoint as a historian is in the presentation of context, painting with admirable conciseness the rivalry between Spain and Portugal for control of the expanding globe, the economical motivations that funded the expedition the Oriental spices were valuable than gold , the religious fervor battling greed and pragmatism in the decisions of the Captain General Bergreen finds the root of the impulse for exploration in the philosophical revolution of Western Europe in the sixteenth century, the transition from medieval reliance on myths and gospel in our understanding of the world to the scientific method of direct observation and practical testing of theoriesRabelais had a serious point to make he was directing his readers back to the classical Greek concept of autopsis, seeing for one s self and the origin of our word autopsy Autopsis stressed the value of firsthand reporting the next best thing was obtaining a reliable account from an eyewitness with firsthand knowledge.This was a revolutionary concept in the Age of Discovery, to go see for one s self, to study the world as it was, not as myths and sacred texts suggested that it should be Magellan is nothing if not a controversial figure, and balancing the sources between his enemies and his apologists must have been no easy task for the author I believe he found this balance, and the Magellan that is portrayed in this book is alternatively a visionary and a misguided egomaniac, his death the result of both the alienation of his officers and of his blind faith in his own mission from God I don t think we can worry about spoilers here, this is history, not fiction Without going into the details of the voyage, Magellan is initially leading five ships with over two hundred and fifty sailors in search of a fabled passage West around the Americas From the very beginning, his leadership is challenged by the other captains, mistrustful of his Portuguese origins and angered by his nepotism and inflexible style of command Events culminate in Port Saint Julian, a small gulf in Patagonia, where he has to put down a mutiny, showing both resourcefulness and cruelty in the punisments he meted out to the rebels Descriptions of the strappado and of waterboarding, official methods of torture used by the Inquisition, remind this reader uncomfortably that he have not evolved much in the moral sense in the last 500 years.Some of the punished officers escape from Magellan s supervision and return to Spain with one of the remaining ships, and they are the primary source of the negative accounts about the navigator, interested parties who of course wanted to justify their desertion What these mutineers were unable to describe is the Captain General s greatest moment, the finding and the crossing of the straits that will come to bear his name for all posterity, a methodical and daring battle with one of the most desolate and destructive maritime passages in the whole world, subject to merciless storms, freezing waters and blinding mists.The continuation of the expedition into the newly discovered Pacific ocean is mostly uneventul, with one major remark the truly abominable conditions aboard the remaining two ships, componded by the killing scourge of scurvy, untreatable at the timeWas it any wonder that the ship, with all its filth and noise and nauseating odor, was called pajaro puerco , a flying pig Controversy marks also the arrival of Magellan in what will come to be known as the Philippines The navigator becomes the conquistador, with a God given mission to claim these new lands for his King and to convert the heathen to his own religion Using the superiority of his steel ard soldiers and of their firearms, Magellan commands an indiscriminate killing spree around the islands Some of the local kings accomodate Magellan, others fight back with wooden spears in an unequal struggle that nevertheless will result in the death of the leader of the expedition This is one of the cases where I admired Bergreen s effort to present both sides of the storyToday, in the Philippines, the tragic encounter between Magellan and Lapu Lapu is seen from a radically different perspective Magellan is not regarded as a courageous explorer instead, he is portrayed as an invader and a murderer And Lapu Lapu has been romanticized beyond recognition Around this section of the narrative I have discovered another key passage, another welcome broadening of perspective Most history books we know about are written by Western European authors, but the Age of Exploration is richer and diverse than what we are taught in schools Did you know that before Marco Polo there was an Arab traveller who journeyed far wider than the celebrated Venetian Ibn Battuta Did you know that the first person to circumnavigate the globe was not a Spaniard or a Portuguese, but a Philippino slave who acted as pilot and translator for the Armada de Molucca Did you know that, a few decades before Magellan, the Chinese were sending out a fleet with hundreds of huge wooden ships and almost thirty thousand men to explore the shores of the Indian and Pacific OceanFor sheer size, the Treasure Fleet was unrivaled until the zenith of the British navy in the nineteenth century Despite its importance and unique character, the Treasure Fleet is little known in the West, even today It was the creation, in many respects, of one man whose accomplishments rivaled and in some ways surpassed the celebrated exploits of Columbus and Magellan Cheng Ho I didn t really, or I read it somewhere in a footnote, and it is the merit of Bergreen to put the Chinese achievement into the correct perspective He is also quick to point out the major source of difference between the Western and Oriental mentalities, a difference that resulted in long centuries of hardship and subjugation for the less military oriented savagesUnlike the Armada de Molucca, the Treasure Fleet did not conquer or claimed distant lands Although the Chinese considered themselves culturally superior to the outside world, they had no interest in establishing a colonial or military empire Rather, the goal was to establish trade and diplomatic relations with the barbarians beyond their borders and to conduct scientific research I liked this section of the book so much, I almost wish that the historian will write a fully developed account of the Treasure Fleet, including quotes from the Cheng Ho diaries, like this one hereWe have beheld in the ocean huge waves like mountains rising sky high, and we have set eyes on barbarian regions far away hidden in a blue transparency of light vapors, while our sails, loftily unfurled like clouds, day and night continued their course like that of a star, traversing the savage waves as if treading a public thoroughfare There is to the book the final arrival to the Spice Islands, the game of cat and mouse with the Portuguese who considered them their own colony, the gruelling return trip to Spain and the ensuing trials blaming Magellan for most of the woes of the expedition One man remains faithful to the great navigator, and this is actually the person who gives us the most detailed first hand account of the trip, the primary source for Bergreen s biography, and the main reason the voice of the detractors was pushed back in the history books Antonio PigafettaThe reader of Pigafetta s chronicle hears his voice, alternately bold, astonished, devastated, fascinated, and, in the end, amazed to be alive in the cruelly beautiful world of his time I probably could have read myself the Pigafetta journals directly, but I strongly believe that Bergreen did a much better job, setting a very high standard on how a non fiction biography should be written I also plan to find out what other subjects he has chosen to study and write about I think he has one book about Marco Polo This is a must read book for all Filipinos In elementary school, we are taught to memorize some facts about Ferdinand Magellan and I can still recall having to memorize the date when Magellan landed in Limasawa Samar and the 5 ships that were part of his expedition Trinidad, Victoria, San Antonio, Concepcion and Santiago Before reading this book, I could hardly recall the differenting facts that happened with each of them This book described all those together with who Magellan was and the difficulty that he and his men experienced in search of the Spice Island during the 16th century.Our Lapu Lapu killed Magellan Thus for us, Lapu Lapu is the hero and Magellan is the villain However, this book puts Magellan in a different light Laurence Bergreen says that Magellan is a better ocean navigator than Christopher Columbus who discovered America as this paragraph states Magellan s skill in negotiating the entire length of the strait is acknowledged as the single greatest feat in this history of maritime exploration It was, perhaps, an even greater accomplishment than Columbus s discovery of the New World, because the Genoan, thinking he had arrived in China, remained befuddles to the end of his days about where he was, and what he had accomplished,and as a result he mislead others Magellan, in contrast, realized exactly what he had done he had, at long last, begun to correct Columbus s great navigational error The other important learning I had is that the Filipinos were not savages as some foreigners would tend to believe and picture us when Magellan and his crew landed on March 16, 1521 We were already civilized We already had our form of government, our language its good Magellan had a Malay, Enrique who served as his interpreter , our alphabet and we were friendly and ever hospitable The Filipinos already knew how to make lambanog and coconut milk Gold was everywhere We were rich in natural resources so foreigners took advantage of us In the less serious side, couples were already using bolitas although it was described differently in the book.Also, even if Spain and Portugal were then considered as the world superpowers in that era, the book supports what other people already knew that in our side of the globe, the civilization was alreay far advance in China It was just that Chinese merchants were not able to go on the other side The book says that the reason was that China was only after doing trade and scientific experiment In contrast, Spain and Portugal s main objectives were to look for spices to make them reach spices are as valuable then as oil now and to expand their territories.It was an extremely fascinating read Thanks again, Tata J for lending another amazing book to me Keep them coming.