Prince Henry the Navigator: Pioneer of Modern Exploration (Library of Explorers and Exploration)

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9780823936212: Prince Henry the Navigator: Pioneer of Modern Exploration (Library of Explorers and Exploration)
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Profiles Prince Henry of Portugal, whose support enabled explorers to claim new lands, spread Christianity, and increase trade between Europe and Africa while he, himself, remained close to home.

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Reviewed with Allison Stark Draper's Vasco da Gama.

Gr. 5-8. These books from the Library of Explorers and Exploration series feature two leading figures in Portugal's age of exploration. Each book is refreshingly frank, offering a "warts and all" portrait. Celebrated as a national hero, da Gama opened up a new trade route to the Indies and enabled his country to profit hugely from the spice trade. He also mercilessly killed Muslims and responded to disobedience with brutality. Born more than 60 years before da Gama, Prince Henry was renowned for encouraging and enabling the Portuguese to mount expeditions in hopes of finding a sea route to India. His fervent Christianity was of the crusading sort, aiming to convert by colonizing Muslim cities in North Africa and by selling Africans into slavery. With narrow margins and a blurry knotted-rope-motif decoration, the format is a bit crowded. However, the illustrations include many excellent period paintings, prints, and maps, all clearly reproduced in color. Back matter includes a chronology, a bibliography, and a list of museums. Readers are also referred to the publisher's own Web site for a list of regularly updated list relevant sites Carolyn Phelan
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