The astonishing tale of the first sea voyage to circumnavigate the entire globe. Magellan's dramatic maritime expedition in 1519 discovered the straits that enabled Europe to trade with the Eastern spice islands and thus changed the course of history.
In an era of intense commercial rivalry between Spain and Portugal, the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set sail to explore the undiscovered parts of the world and claim them for the Spanish crown in one of the largest and best-equipped expeditions ever mounted in the Age of Discovery.
Yet of the fleet of five vessels under his command, only "Victoria" was to return to Spain after three harrowing years - her captain murdered, more than 200 of her sailors dead from scurvy, torture, execution and drowning, and a small, ravaged crew that survived to tell the extraordinarily dramatic story.
The shockingly explicit diaries of Antonio Pigafetta, an Italian tourist who joined the voyage, reveal much of the story.
This is a many-layered book: a voyage into history; a tour of the world as it was emerging from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance; an anthropological account of exotic tribes, and a chronicle of a desperate grab for political and commercial power. It is also a gripping adventure story, compelling and full of suspense and drama.