The Spice Route

The Spice Route : A History

3.72 (147 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

List price: US$28.07

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


An exotic saga with the tang of drama in every voyage, The Spice Route transports the reader from the dawn of history to the ends of the earth.The Spice Route is one of history's great anomalies. Shrouded in mystery, it existed long before anyone knew of its extent or alignment. Spices came from lands unseen, possibly uninhabitable, and almost by definition unattainable; that was what made them so desirable. Yet more livelihoods depended on this pungent traffic, more nations participated in it, more wars were fought over it, and more discoveries resulted from it than from any other global exchange.In a bid to discover and exploit the spice route, mankind first passed beyond his known horizons to probe the limits of our planet. Epic was the quest, and in this major new study, epic is the treatment as John Keay pieces together a historical process that spans three millennia and a geographical progression that encircles the world.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 161 x 242 x 28mm | 626g
  • John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • United Kingdom
  • 0719561981
  • 9780719561986
  • 2,851,975

Review quote

'A typically droll and beautifully wrought book' -- Literary Review 'A springy, fresh feel!The Spice Route is what happens when you match a writer at the top of his form with a fashionable subject!The result is tremendous.' -- Literary Review-Nick Smith 'Its digressiveness is also a boon, allowing Keay to touch on everything' -- FT MAgazine 20050814 'Fascinating new history' -- Daily Telegraph 20050814 'Absorbing' -- Scotsman 20050814 'Keay more sharply than romantically points up the economic basis of historic trade wars over three millenia.' -- The Times 20050716 'Serves up a feast of detail on a fascinating and little-known subject' -- Sunday Telegraph 20050731 'Keay's retelling of the tale is restrained yet powerful, his choice of facts compelling' -- Guardian 20050910 'Keay has produced another scrupulously researched, persuasive book' -- TLS 20050910 'Consistently interesting' -- Observer/Review: Robert Colville 20060625 'A fascinating tale packed with eye-catching detail' -- Independent 20060624 'Keay's history! begins with romance and wonder, before it gives way to the adventure and violence of the age of maritime exploration' -- Independent: Laurence Phelan 20060623 'Keay crosses centuries as confidently as the great tea-clippers once coursed oceans. He writes elegant, exemplary prose, and this book is as full of bounty as any 18th-century privateer could pray for' -- The Times 20060617 'One of the clearest explanations of the oldest example of global trade and its cultural and political ramifications' -- South China Morning Post 20060604 'Impressively researched' -- Guardian 20050708 'An enthralling and erudite history of the spice trade' -- Traveller 20050708 'A delightful, scholarly and thoroughly readable account' -- Geographical 20050508 'Fascinating! covering 3000 years of history in well-written, easy-to-read prose!The book is full of wonderful facts! Quite a lot to discuss. Exploitation, greed, values. All grist to a reading group's mill' -- Margaret Burgess, NewBooksMag 20050508
show more

About John Keay

John Keay's recent books include Sowing the Wind: The Mismanagement of the Middle East 1900-1960 and Last Post: The End of Empire in the Far East. He lives in Scotland and is married to the author Julia Keay. Together they edited the Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland and are now revising the London Encyclopaedia. They have four children. John's earlier books include standard histories of India and the English East India Company. His latest is Mad About the Mekong: Exploration and Empire in South East Asia.
show more

Rating details

147 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 20% (29)
4 44% (65)
3 28% (41)
2 5% (7)
1 3% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X