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Irresistible North: From Venice to Greenland on the Trail of the Zen Brothers

ISBN: 9780307390660
Publisher: Vintage
Edition: Reprint
Publication Date: 2012-08-07
Number of pages: 240
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A century before Columbus arrived in America, two brothers from Venice are said to have explored parts of the New World. They became legends during the Renaissance, and then the source of a great scandal that would discredit their story. Today, they have been largely forgotten.
In this very original work—part history, part travelogue—Andrea di Robilant chronicles his discovery of a travel narrative published in 1558 by the Venetian statesman Nicolò Zen. The text and its fascinating nautical map re-created the travels of two of the author’s ancestors, brothers who claimed to have explored the North Atlantic in the 1380s and 1390s. Di Robilant sets out to discover why the Zens’ account later came under attack as one of the greatest frauds in geographical history. Was their map—and even their journey—partially or perhaps entirely faked?

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