By (author) Matthew Francis


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"The Travels of Sir John Mandeville" was one of the most popular books of the later Middle Ages. Purporting to describe the circumnavigation of an English knight through Africa, India, and the Middle East in 1322, the narrative is a fantastical collection of sights: seas, islands, phoenixes, pyramids, rocks that enchant ships and apes that contain human souls, interwoven with geographical descriptions that are perfectly accurate. Matthew Francis' new collection is a sequence of poems that celebrate and give voice to Mandeville, in his own words, caught as he is between physical and symbolic geographies, between a world that is round and one that has Jerusalem at its centre. And all of it narrated in the terse, solitary, conflicted and strangely passionate voice of this medieval Crusoe whose very existence was disputed.

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  • Paperback | 64 pages
  • 126 x 192 x 10mm | 58.97g
  • 20 Mar 2008
  • Faber & Faber Poetry
  • London
  • English
  • 0571239277
  • 9780571239276
  • 1,072,013

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Author Information

Matthew Francis's first collection Blizzard (1996), was shortlisted for Best First Collection in the Forward Poetry Prize. His second collection Dragons, was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 2001. He was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation Poets in 2004.

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