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Posted: Saturday, October 14, 2017 2:05 PM

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Text Titled: THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, The Southern Voyages 1492-1616, by Samuel Eliot Morison, $30.

Binding: Hard cover, cloth.

Text Condition: Excellent.

Jacket Condition: Good--Worn, Some Tears and Abrasions.

758 pages, illus., maps AND photos.

Product Dimensions: 9" x 6.5" x 2"

Morrison's monumental chronicle of the European expeditions to America still holds its place as the best work in the field after three decades. Although quite lengthy (two volumes weigh in at more than 800 pages each), the texts are quite readable and the writing manages to be both scholarly and entertaining.

This history doesn't deal with the explorations in a vacuum. Every voyage to America was prompted and influenced by a variety of social, economic, political, and technological factors in its country of origin, and Morrison gives a thorough view of the background of the explorers and their home country before treating the expeditions themselves. This text will not only tell you what the explorers discovered, but what they were looking for and why.

For all of those interested in the Viking expeditions to North America, this text tells the definitive story. The exact site of the first Viking settlement has been identified, and the archaeological evidence is discussed here. There is also a thorough debunking of several spurious "Viking stones" in places like Minnesota and New Hampshire.

Other explorations of North America are covered in fascinating detail, including the seasonal but very active sixteenth-century fishing outposts in Newfoundland, and the many attempts to discover the elusive Northwest Passage.

As a naval historian, Morrison devoted a fair number of pages in this text to technical descriptions of ships and sailing. The uninterested reader can safely skim over these parts without detracting from the historical saga, but this landlubber found it interesting to trace the technological development of the vessels that crossed the Atlantic.

In short, if you have any interest in who explored the Americas, why they went there, and what they experienced, then this is absolutely the best text you can read on the subject.

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