The Last Voyage of Columbus
In his book, Martin Dugard uses dramatic detail and imagery to attract the readers attention. At times it feels as though the book is even fiction, but the selected bibliography in the end, defend with certainty this books authenticity. If there were no speculations on the character of Columbus by the lector, then the book will leave the lasting impression that like us, Columbus was human as well. He was not a saint, and had his fallouts. His life was not a complete joy ride, but the ending of the book gives the reader the sense that Columbus was a man of exuberant character: “live a bold life rather than settle for mediocrity.”(p.268)
Divided into four sections: Prelude; Love Hope and Sex and Dreams; Paradise Lost; Adventures of a Perilous and Swashbuckling Nature; War; and finally, Cast Away, the order of the sections already give insight on the life that Columbus lead. At first his life was full of hope and ambition, through the first chunk Columbus’ life is depicted. Beginning with the voyage the whole world remembers, Dugard unveils sides of Columbus’ character that many readers weren't aware of. Columbus was exactly 41 when he sailed in 1492, he was an Italian vagabond who ironically was quite cheerful, confident, and at times prone to the occasional boast. At six feet tall, with a very cunning mind, he somehow seduced the most powerful woman in the world at that time: Queen Isabella. Columbus was married, and then widowed, to a woman named Felipa Puestrello y Mariz. In his youth, Columbus became interested in traveling the world because of a man named Marco Polo. In 1271, Marco Polo, traveled to china via ship and camel. He returned twenty four years later with more knowledge of the world than the average European. He then was thrown in prison where he wrote a book called, The Book of Ser Marco Polo. This book detailed a land with incredible new ideas not yet available to the Europeans, such as: coal for fuel, a pony express-style mail service, and paper money. To Columbus the most important thing was the topography of Asia, described in detail. The ideas that Polo shared, matched directly with another book called Geography, another man later on came out with the three-dimensional globe. This only gave Columbus’ idea more credit, he wanted to go to Asia, the Sovereigns were his only hope.
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, were the only people that helped Columbus on his first voyage. At first they were completely unwilling to help, but an advisor from the court told the King and Queen that there was not much to lose with Columbus. If he made it back, the Sovereigns would have first hands on any land that Columbus would have found. They liked the idea. The only downside was that the Sovereigns would only be making a small investment in Columbus. If he failed and perished in the ocean, they would never hear from him again. It was a win-win situation. If he did find Asia, then he would bring back something...