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by Andrea Di Robilant

  • ISBN: 0307390667
  • Author: Andrea Di Robilant
  • ePub ver: 1356 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1356 kb
  • Rating: 4.9 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Formats: doc docx lrf lit
  • Category: History
  • Subcategory: Europe
epub Irresistible North: From Venice to Greenland on the Trail of the Zen Brothers download

Andea Di Robilant happened upon a map and a cornerstone in Venice Di Robilant travels himself to these remote places, giving the sense that now, as ever, explorers from Venice are thrilled to discover that there are other remote an. .

Andea Di Robilant happened upon a map and a cornerstone in Venice. The map was drawn by Nicolo Zen, who in 1558 published a narrative based on letters of two of his ancestors who went off course in a 1383 trading trip to Flanders. The cornerstone was on an aging building (shown on p. 192) on the Palazzo Zen, the Zen family mansion in Venice. Di Robilant travels himself to these remote places, giving the sense that now, as ever, explorers from Venice are thrilled to discover that there are other remote and improbable islands in the world which no one knows much about. A Venetian who ventures to these places cannot fail to find kindred spirits.

Irresistible North book. From the author of A Venetian Affair and Lucia comes a charming. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Irresistible North: From Venice to Greenland on the Trail of the Zen Brothers as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

This delightful journey begins with Andrea di Robilant’s serendipitous discovery of a travel narrative published .

This delightful journey begins with Andrea di Robilant’s serendipitous discovery of a travel narrative published in Venice in 1558 by the Renaissance statesman Nicolò Zen: the text and its fascinating nautical map re-created the travels of two of the author’s ancestors, brothers who explored the North Atlantic in the 1380s and 1390s. Was their map-and even their journey-partially or perhaps entirely faked?

Irresistible North : from Venice to Greenland on the trail of the Zen brothers, by Andrea di Robilant.

Irresistible North : from Venice to Greenland on the trail of the Zen brothers, by Andrea di Robilant. 1st ed. p. cm. This Is a Borzoi Book -T. Greenland’s outline was traced with startling precision, but then a lumpy Nova Scotia seemed to have lost its bearings and was floating eastward, away from Newfoundland and the coast of New England. Strangest of all was a large, bulky island called Frisland (Frislanda in the text of the book), which the author placed above Scotland.

This delightful journey begins with Andrea di Robilant’s serendipitous discovery of a travel narrative published in Venice in 1558 by the Renaissance statesman Nicolò Zen: the text and its fascinating nautical map re-created the travels of two of the author’s ancestors, brothers wh. Was their map-and even their journey-partially or perhaps entirely faked?

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In 2003 di Robilant wrote his first book A Venetian Affair, (2003) a biography of his ancestor in.

In 2003 di Robilant wrote his first book A Venetian Affair, (2003) a biography of his ancestor in 18th century Venice based on their correspondence; and a sequel entitled Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon (2008).

Andrea di Robilant is a distinguished scholar of Venetian history, and in Irresistible North, his third book, he strives to bind his . From Venice to Greenland on the Trail of the Zen Brothers. By Andrea di Robilant.

Andrea di Robilant is a distinguished scholar of Venetian history, and in Irresistible North, his third book, he strives to bind his tripartite material into a persuasive narrative unity. The modern story follows the author’s investigations after stumbling upon an old book in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice while looking for something else. An American-­educated Italian whose previous titles include the well-received Venetian Affair, di Robilant admits to an obsession with the shadowy figures who emerged from his initial inquiries.

Author: Andrea Di Robilant. Partners on the Trail.

Andrea di Robilant, author of A Venetian Affair, investigates the story of the Zen brothers, the fourteenth-century merchant navigators whose .

Andrea di Robilant, author of A Venetian Affair, investigates the story of the Zen brothers, the fourteenth-century merchant navigators whose fabled voyage to the North Atlantic made history. Description taken from 9780571243778.

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?

Comments (7)

Sha
Very interesting book.
interactive man
There are many tales of pre-Columbus voyages to the Americas. Many are dismissed out of hand, others verified (Vikings in America), others like the Zen Brothers fall in between (as do Who Discovered America? or The Island of Seven Cities). Di Robilant sifts through the history, the maps and dusty books, separating fact from fiction. When the account was first published in 1558, did Nicolo Zen, descendent of the brothers, use knowledge of the New World for a great fabrication? In the end, it's not so easy to dismiss the Zen account as a fable. Garbled over time, for sure, but enough to give one pause. Too much seems to fit with the North Atlantic, many details which probably wouldn't have been known to Nicolo Zen.
Madis
A solid combination of historical research and personal travelogue The author analyzes and retraces the likely route of 14th century Venetian merchants across the north Atlantic.
Gaudiker
Excellent book. A non-fiction research narrated as intriguing fiction. Great in divulging a very unknown story to a wider audience.
Dusho
Fun book. I enjoyed the story of the zen brothers journey. Not an academic book. Would recommend for people intredted in history of maps or travel
Mustard Forgotten
Andea Di Robilant happened upon a map and a cornerstone in Venice. The map was drawn by Nicolo Zen, who in 1558 published a narrative based on letters of two of his ancestors who went off course in a 1383 trading trip to Flanders. The cornerstone was on an aging building (shown on p. 192) on the Palazzo Zen, the Zen family mansion in Venice. As an historian, Di Robilard's interest was piqued and he set about his own voyage of discovery.

Antonio and Nicolo Zen may have traveled to what is now Orkney, the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland. They may have reached Newfoundland too, over 100 years before Columbus reached the "new world". While the book of their travels by their brother's descendant, "Nicolo the Younger", was a sensation at its publication and had an impact on future generations, its authenticity has faced and faces continuous challenges. In the intro to the Bibliography, Di Robilant writes, "The story of the Zen voyages has generated enough books and articles over the past four and a half centuries to fill a small library."

In his search for the truth, Di Robilant went to see some of the places the Zen brothers allegedly visited in the 1380's. He met people, who to this day, have strong opinions about the truth or falsity of the Zen voyage accounts. In finding and visiting the sites described by Zen, such as the monasteries and the smoking mountain, Di Robilant gives the reader a travelogue of places and a description of people who live well off the beaten path.

Through the interesting portraits of the Zens of the 1380's, Nicolo Zen of the 1500's, and Fracnesco Marcolini, the book's publisher, you learn a lot about Venice of the time. Through the portrait of Henry Sinclair, a Scottish vassal in service to the King of Norway, said to have traveled with the Zens 1380's, you learn something of Scotland as part of Norway and that Sinclair may have explored the coast of what is now New England. Another portrait of the times is seen through John Dee, an astrologer to Queen Elizabeth who arranged investors for Martin Frobisher's search for a "Northwest Passage" based on the Zen accounts.

In describing his visits to libraries and his chats with historians, Di Robilant presents the little discussed history of this remote part of the world. Especially interesting to me was the role of Greenland as a trading link between North America and Europe. Greenland imported its timber from Norway, but the exports are more varied. Boats of that time could get to what is now Canada in a 12 day voyage and goods could be brought to Greenland for export. Exotic luxury goods such as walrus tusks, polar bear and Arctic fox furs, white falcons, caribou meat, seal skins and wool spun by the Greenland women were shipped to Europe. With this background, it is not surprising that in his voyages of the 1530's to what is now Newfoundland, Jaques Cartier notes that the native people recognize words in a number of European languages.

I chose this because the author's other two other books A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century and Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon about Di Robilant's Venetian ancestors were page turners and was not disappointed. Di Robilant has a talent for great writing and I will read whatever he publishes next.
Kit
This is a book which touches on many themes. It is not easy to categorise. Andrea di Robilant is an historian and a journalist. In this book he interweaves the two genres. Perhaps the "Venetian Navigators" of the title also includes himself, as subject as well as author. Di Robiliant, who is half Venetian and half American, takes up the quest of the Zen explorers, suggested to him by a chance encounter with an American tourist at the Marciana Library in Venice, which piques his curiosity. A few days later, he happens to notice the Zen palace near the Campo dei Gesuiti, "embellished with Leventine motifs" and a "soot-covered plaque" dedicated to "Nicolo and Antonio Zen, wise and courageous navigators to the northern seas."
Di Robilant's previous books have all been based on his own illustrious Venetian family, and so what he sets out to explore here is, in more ways than one, uncharted waters. It is a controversial story based on a book printed in 1558 written by Nicolo Zen, which itself is based on the long-lost letters that were written by his great-great-great grandfather, one of the two Zen brothers who travelled to the North, to Orkney, the Faroes, Iceland and almost certainly as far as Greenland, though almost certainly not to North America (which was the premise of the American tourist's quest). Di Robilant meticulously unravels this extremely strange and complicated story: not only the story itself, which is intriguing enough, but the story of the story, which was a hugely influential book when it was first published and for centuries later (in fact, it figures in di Robilant's previous book "Lucia in the Age of Napoleon" when his heroine's son is constantly pestering his mother to send him a copy of this Zen book that he is obsessed with), until it was denounced as "a tissue of fiction" in the 1835 spring edition of the Royal Geographical Society journal that destroyed the reputation of the Zens. Di Robilant seems to take this almost personally, and rises to the unenviable challenge of defending the Zens' tattered reputation from calumny and almost universal derision from every scholarly source.
The magnificent achievement here is that, although no detail is left out, it is a light-hearted book, and fun and amusing to read. It is almost like a thriller, which one cannot put down because, unlike history which one already knows, at least vaguely, here there is no knowing how it is all going to turn out. There is much discussion of the elusive and intriguing character, Zichmni, assumed to be the Scottish knight Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and vassal to the King of Norway, with whom di Robilant believes the Zen brothers joined forces in their explorations and adventures. Di Robilant travels himself to these remote places, giving the sense that now, as ever, explorers from Venice are thrilled to discover that there are other remote and improbable islands in the world which no one knows much about. A Venetian who ventures to these places cannot fail to find kindred spirits. And there is also something apt in the sense that emerges, which is what ultimately gives the whole Zen story credence, that exploration is not primarily about arriving at an intended goal, and from a certain perspective can be considered completely pointless. This book is the perfect illustration of the aphorism that the point of a journey is not to arrive, but the journey itself.

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