Malcolm Letts (essay date 1949)
SOURCE: "The Times," in Sir John Mandeville: The Man and His Books, The Batchworth Press, 1949, pp. 23-40.
[In the excerpt below, Letts describes the historical context in which Mandeville wrote and remarks on his critical reception and influence on other writers.]
Before we come to the journey itself, it may be well to sketch in outline the historical background against which Mandeville lived and wrote. During practically the whole period covered by the so-called travels England and France were at war. The Hundred Years' War broke out in 1338. Crécy was won in 1346, Calais was taken in 1347, and at Poitiers, in 1356, the French King was taken prisoner. Mandeville...
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