Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Mandervile's Voyages and Travels 1704

Apparently written by an English knight, this book supposedly describes his experiences traveling in the Holy Land, Egypt, and the Far East. Illustrations show all sorts of wonders such as dog-headed men, Amazons and Pygmies. Written between 1357 and 1371,  it was always extremely popular and is an example of how fact and fiction could be combined for the unsuspecting readership before the days of the great explorers.

2024 RGSSA 4729

Mandervile, Sir John, Knight, The Voyages and Travels, London, 1704.  

The author of this book is uncertain and it is thought to be a collection of travellers' tales combined and dramatized in the one volume under the probably fictitious name Sir John Mandervile.

The book first appeared in 1356-1357 written in French with the English version published in 1375.  It was very popular and has been re-printed many times.  Modern scholarship has concluded the actual author may have been Jan de Langhe a Flemish writer who wrote in Latin as Johannes Longus. But there have been many other theories as to the real author as well.

There are many highly imaginative and fanciful illustrations in the book one of the most bizarre shows tiny lambs growing on trees supposedly representing the white cotton balls on the cotton plant.

In spite of these questionable aspects apparently it was used as a reference book by Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo. 

RGSSA catalogue rgsp 910.4 M272