Xanadu

Xanadu

3.26 (267 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

**A SOURCE FOR MARCO POLO, A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES** Marco Polo's journey from Venice, through Europe and most of Asia, to the court of Kublai Khan in China is one of the most audacious in history. His account of his experiences, known simply as The Travels, uncovered an entirely new world of emperors and concubines, great buildings - 'stately pleasure domes' in Coleridge's dreaming - huge armies and imperial riches. His book shaped the West's understanding of China for hundreds of years. John Man travelled in Marco's footsteps to Xanadu, in search of the truth behind Marco's stories; to separate legend from fact. Drawing on his own journey, archaeology and archival study, John Man paints a vivid picture of the man behind the myth and the true story of the great court of Kublai Khan.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 127 x 195.58 x 27.94mm | 294.83g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • col. Illustrations, plan, col. ports.
  • 0553820028
  • 9780553820027
  • 239,834

Review quote

"I have read everything written on Marco Polo, and John Man's Xanadu is, by far, my favorite book on the subject. It's not only an over-due and important historical study, it's an entertaining ride every step of the way. As a researcher, John Man not only puts himself on the very ground that Marco traversed, he takes us with him on the epic journey." * JOHN FUSCO, Creator of "Marco Polo", a Netflix Original Series * "[John Man] cultivates the sense of wonder in describing unknown lands and unknown peoples; making it easy to imagine being at the court of Kublai Khan, the most powerful man of the time, and experiencing the wonders of another time and place." * San Francisco Book Review * "An in-the-footsteps-of-Marco-Polo journey through Europe to China which really makes you feel you are wearing Polo's threadbare, sweat-stained slippers as you go" * The Scotsman * "John Man's engaging and diverting study of the historical Xanadu renders the truths as beguiling as the mythology . . . with a combination of travel writing, historical analysis and anecdote, Man uses Xanadu almost as a keyhole through which to describe larger events" * Scotland on Sunday *show more

About John Man

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in China and Mongolia. His books have been published in over twenty languages. In 2007 he was awarded Mongolia's prestigious Friendship Medal for his contribution of UK-Mongol relations.show more

Back cover copy

Marco Polo's journey from Venice to China in the late thirteenth century was one of the most audacious ever. He uncovered an unknown world of vast wealth and exotic cities, including Xanadu, where the emperor Kublai Khan - the most powerful monarch in the 13th-century world - spent his summers. Xanadu, famous for its 'stately pleasure dome', as Coleridge called it, was - and is - a reality, with a real 'dome' of gilded bamboo. For the first time, this book reveals what it may have looked like. On his return, Marco - adventurous, curious, charming, and ambitious - became the first and best-known of travel writers. But he was also infuriatingly unreliable. John Man travelled in Marco's footsteps in search of the truth. He follows Marco to Xanadu, then to Beijing and through modern China. He tells the intriguing story behind Marco's book and its enduring impact, and paints a vivid picture of the man behind the myth.show more

Review Text

"John Man's engaging and diverting study of the historical Xanadu renders the truths as beguiling as the mythology . . . with a combination of travel writing, historical analysis and anecdote, Man uses Xanadu almost as a keyhole through which to describe larger events"show more

Rating details

267 ratings
3.26 out of 5 stars
5 11% (29)
4 27% (72)
3 45% (121)
2 11% (30)
1 6% (15)
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