16 December 2011
For the first time Peter Mundy’s fascinating account of his world travels as a merchant adventurer in the seventeenth century has been published in an accessible single-volume edited selection.
Driven by the ‘desire of many marvels over sea’, Mundy spent much of his life travelling the world. He was among the first English merchants to visit China, and travelled to Istanbul, India, China, Danzig (Gdansk), Russia and the Arctic. A gifted travel writer Mundy has left behind an extensive first-hand account of his journeys, which survives in a unique manuscript in the Bodleian Library.
R.E. Pritchard has drawn together an inspired selection from this manuscript, offering readers an accessible ‘best of’ Peter Mundy’s writing. It includes many charming original illustrations and insightful eye-witness accounts of seventeenth-century life and times in all their barbarity and brilliance.
Readers will be delighted by Mundy’s insights into the cultures and lifestyles of peoples around the world, based on his encounters with the Ottoman, Mughal, Chinese and Russian empires. Also included is his intriguing experience of events in London following Charles II’s coronation in 1661.
Mundy’s insatiable curiosity about the world offers seventeenth century historians and lovers of travel literature alike an invaluable resource and a compelling read.
'...all the face of the earth, so far as we could see, was covered with people, troops of horses, elephants, etc., with innumerable flags small and great, which made a most gallant show.’