The European Discovery of America, Vol 1: The Northern Voyages, 500-1600

The European Discovery of America Vol The Northern Voyages The late Samuel Eliot Morison a former U S Navy admiral was also one of America s premier historians Combining a first hand knowledge of the sea and transatlantic travel with a brilliantly readable

  • Title: The European Discovery of America, Vol 1: The Northern Voyages, 500-1600
  • Author: Samuel Eliot Morison
  • ISBN: 9780195082715
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Paperback
  • The late Samuel Eliot Morison, a former U.S Navy admiral, was also one of America s premier historians Combining a first hand knowledge of the sea and transatlantic travel with a brilliantly readable narrative style, he produced what has become nothing less than the definitive account of the great age of European exploration In his riveting and richly illustrated saga,The late Samuel Eliot Morison, a former U.S Navy admiral, was also one of America s premier historians Combining a first hand knowledge of the sea and transatlantic travel with a brilliantly readable narrative style, he produced what has become nothing less than the definitive account of the great age of European exploration In his riveting and richly illustrated saga, Morison offers a comprehensive account of all the known voyages by Europeans to the New World from 500 A.D to the seventeenth century Together, the two volumes of The European Discovery of America tell the compelling stories of the many intrepid explorers who made what was then a journey frought with danger figures as diverse as Leif Ericsson, Columbus, John Cabot, Jacques Cartier, Martin Frobisher, Magellan, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake to name but a few They also follow the adventures of lesser known but no less interesting mariners and offer a detailed look at those who set them forth on their travels In the first volume, The Nrthern Voyages winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize for History Morison re creates the lives and perilous times of those who claimed to have seen the shores of North America in the 600 years after the Norsemen first landed He brings to his account a rare immediacy, making the drama and unpredictability of their voyages as significant in relation to the people of their era as the astronauts journeys have been for our own times Morison also offers a fascinating look at the imaginary lands reported by early travelers such mythical places as Antilia and the Seven Cities, the glorious Kingdoms of Norumbega and Saguenay, and Hy Brasil the Isle of the Blest and examines as well the alleged discoverers of these lands With warmth and wit he distinguishes fact from fiction, and imaginary explorers and their exploits from actual men and events In the second volume, Morison turns his attention to the navigators who negotiated the waters of the Caribbean and the treacherous coasts of South America, even following them as they ventured ashore to the dark inland of the southern continent The Southern Voyages begins with the events leading up to Columbus s arrival in San Salvador in 1492 and concludes with the discovery of the southernmost bit of land, Cape Horn, by Dutch explorers in 1616 In between, Morison retraces the routes of all the great mariners, including a step by step account of Magellan s voyage that would take him around the world Morison has enlivened his narrative with a wide range of source material from Italy, Spain, Portugal, and South America, in the process shedding new light on questions that have divided scholars througout history Did Sir Francis Drake discover San Francisco Bay Was Amerigo Vespucci a great explorer or a fraud or a little of both What role did the French have in the European discovery of Brazil Each volume brims with contemporary illustrations, maps many of them specially drawn for this history and photographs often taken by Morison himself as he flew at low altitude along the coastal routes of explorers , which together identify virtually every allusion to land and sea made by the great European navigators in their ship logs and their later accounts With the 500th anniversary of the European arrival in America came much controversy over Columbus s true legacy With its lively and engaging style, and with its unsurpassed understanding of the age, The European Discovery of America helps put the era of exploration in much needed perspective Anyone interested in the history of America, indeed, in the history of Western Civilization, will find these volumes absolutely essential.

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    About " Samuel Eliot Morison "

  • Samuel Eliot Morison

    Samuel Eliot Morison, son of John H and Emily Marshall Eliot Morison, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 9 July 1887 He attended Noble s School at Boston, and St Paul s at Concord, New Hampshire, before entering Harvard University, from which he was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1908 He studied at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, Paris, France, in 1908 1909, and returned to Harvard for postgraduate work, receiving the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1912 Thereafter he became Instructor, first at the University of California in Berkeley, and in 1915 at Harvard Except for three years 1922 1925 when he was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford, England, and his periods of active duty during both World Wars, he remained continuously at Harvard University as lecturer and professor until his retirement in 1955.He had World War I service as a private in the US Army, but not overseas As he had done some preliminary studies on Finland for Colonel House s Inquiry, he was detailed from the Army in January 1919 and attached to the Russian Division of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, at Paris, his specialty being Finland and the Baltic States He served as the American Delegate on the Baltic Commission of the Peace Conference until 17 June 1919, and shortly after returned to the United States He became a full Professor at Harvard in 1925, and was appointed to the Jonathan Trumbull Chair in 1940 He also taught American History at Johns Hopkins University in 1941 1942.Living up to his sea going background he has sailed in small boats and coastal craft all his life In 1939 1940, he organized and commanded the Harvard Columbus Expedition which retraced the voyages of Columbus in sailing ships, barkentine Capitana and ketch Mary Otis After crossing the Atlantic under sail to Spain and back, and examining all the shores visited by Columbus in the Caribbean, he wrote Admiral of the Ocean Sea, an outstanding biography of Columbus, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1943 He also wrote a shorter biography, Christopher Columbus, Mariner With Maurico Obregon of Bogota, he surveyed and photographed the shores of the Caribbean by air and published an illustrated book The Caribbean as Columbus Saw It 1964.Shortly after the United States entered World War II, Dr Morison proposed to his friend President Roosevelt, to write the operational history of the US Navy from the inside, by taking part in operations and writing them up afterwards The idea appealed to the President and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, and on 5 May 1942, Dr Morison was commissioned Lieutenant Commander, US Naval Reserve, and was called at once to active duty He subsequently advanced to the rank of Captain on 15 December 1945 His transfer to the Honorary Retired List of the Naval Reserve became effective on 1 August 1951, when he was promoted to Rear Admiral on the basis of combat awards.In July August 1942 he sailed with Commander Destroyer Squadron Thirteen Captain John B Heffernan, USN , on USS Buck, flagship, on convoy duty in the Atlantic In October of that year, on USS Brooklyn with Captain Francis D Denebrink, he participated in Operation TORCH Allied landings in North and Northwestern Africa 8 November 1942 In March 1943, while attached to Pacific Fleet Forces, he visited Noumea, Guadalcanal, Australia, and on Washington made a cruise with Vice Admiral W A Lee, Jr USN He also patrolled around Papua in motor torpedo boats, made three trips up the Slot on Honolulu, flagship of Commander Cruisers, Pacific Fleet Rear Admiral W.W Ainsworth, USN , and took part in the Battle of Kolombangara before returning to the mainland Again in the Pacific War Area in September 1943, he participated in the Gilbert Islands operation on board USS Balti, under command of Captain Walter C Calhoun, USN For the remainder of the Winter he worked at Pearl Harbor, and in the Spring


  • My US history teacher in high school would make us listen to recorded lectures by RADM Morison and I thought they were as dry as a desert and even more boring.This book is not like that.Morison’s prose is sharp, and sometimes very witty. From the Preface: “All honest efforts to throw light on historical darkness, such as this era, have my enthusiastic support. But it has fallen to my lot, working on this subject, to have read some of the most tiresome historical literature in existence. Youn [...]

  • An excellent book covering the various European encounters with America, north of Pamlico Sound. The book starts with St. Brendan and other early, often imaginary, journeys across the Atlantic. Besides recounting the history, often from primary sources, the book gives a large amount of fascinating detail on the ships, rigging and supplies used in the first trans-Atlantic voyages. There are many maps reproduced to illustrate the struggle navigators had in trying to understand the shape of the new [...]

  • As a child I used to get in trouble. I went to a Catholic school, St. Thomas of Villanova, for two years in Illinois because the public schools were too crowded. Even though our friends and neighbors were these same people, we were looked upon by the other Catholic schoolchildren as though we had descended from another planet. Anyway, I always tried to keep a low profile because I was and am very shy. I didn't question stuff and tried to go with the flow mostly. However, teachers throughout my s [...]

  • If you were told the history of the discovery of America as a child and have not paid much attention since I have to recommend reading this book. Most of the book is devoted to the 16th century and the men who explored the east coast of America in search of a passage to the orient. It is a fascinating period in history. Although this book is 40 years old I do not consider it out of date. It would have been a new book when I was in college. Morison has been criticized for failing to condemn the b [...]

  • This is an excellent summary of all known European voyages of exploration to the North American continent until the year 1600 AD. After an initial discussion of the Irish monk St Brendan, the Norsemen and assorted legendary voyages, most of the 700+ pages covers from John Cabot's voyage in the Mathew to Newfoundland in 1497 up until Sir Walter Raleigh's failed Virginia colony of Roanoke Island in 1587-1590. Not only is it exhaustively researched with an excellent bibliography after each chapter [...]

  • I was introduced to Morison by Dad. He'd used one or more of his texts at Grinnell College after being demobilized from the service. He himself had spent much of WWII shipboard as an army cryptanalyst attached to the navy, usually serving in command ships. Morison, of course, was a navy man himself, the author of a fifteen-volume history of naval actions in that war.This book, and a second volume on the Southern Voyages, covers the early history of the European "discovery" of America pretty comp [...]

  • This is an excellent history of the European exploration of North America from the 6th-16th centuries. Starting with the voyages of St. Brendan, it concludes with the lost colony at Roanoke. The main thrust is the 100 years following the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and the bulk of the exploration takes place in Newfoundland and Labrador. Morison actually sailed some of the routes and flew over others. He describes living conditions on the ships and colonies, navigation and relat [...]

  • Frobisher anyone? Efforts to plant colonies in Labrador, or on Baffin Island? Tired of the usual cast of conquistadores? Looking for a cast of explorers who were less cruel, but also (it would appear) less bright? Morison is not only a titanic historian, but also talented, graceful, and witty writer. His passion for the sea is evinced in his efforts to visit the places that these explorers did firsthand, though some are godforsaken in the extreme.

  • A blast from the past (1971). Admiral Morison set a tone for naval and discovery history in his time and in my opinion has never been surpassed. I reconnected with this book after many years and continue to be impressed with his rock-solid research and thoughtful analysis.

  • Read it as a teenager. I've always loved stories of exploration and discovery. I should read the second volume, on the southern voyages.

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