A Singular Captain – Ferdinand Magellan


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Ferdinand Magellan

It’s 1518 and the Line of Demarcation divides the world between Portugal and Spain but no one knows on which side of the line the fabulous Spice Isles lie.  Only one man has the knowledge, experience, talent and determination to settle the question: Ferdinand Magellan, who is hated both in Spain and Portugal.

Antonio Pigafetta, former ambassador from the Holy See to the royal court of imperial Spain, casts his lot with a captain set up to fail. Pigafetta has no idea what he has let himself in for. Mutiny, murder, shipwreck and religious wars are just part of it but Pigafetta survives long enough to tell the story of the greatest sea voyage in history so that, as he tells the king of Spain, the fame of so noble a captain shall not perish in our time.

Review by: Malcolm Torres on Oct. 09, 2016 :
An amazing and quite comprehensive sea story. I have been dipping into this tome on my iPad since I first downloaded it a couple years ago. It’s very impressive that the author did all this work to research and write this book. The accounting of Magellan’s expedition is meticulous and engaging. It always amazes me the grip that royalty and the church had on society through dogma and ruthless power. Equally amazing is what a huge impact nautical explorations had on shifting that power to businessmen and scientists (of which sailors have been both for centuries).
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Review by:Missttyy on Oct. 19, 2016 :
This is epic in scale . . . truly monumental in it’s proportions. I was wondering about the amount of research the author must have done to have written this. It is truly a labor of love because it tells with excruciating details the voyage of Magellan. I dipped in and out of it during several plane trips, reading long stretches. I truly felt like I was there with the crew in so many scenes. A major accomplishment but it could have been edited a bit.
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Review by: Rod Fisher on June 27, 2015 :
This is a great read of Magellan’s voyage as seen through the eyes of Pigafetta, his personal assistant. Too often men like Magellan who have made a profound impact on the history and discovery of the world are denigrated by revisionist historians who dwell on their mistakes and weaknesses. But when the world was a mystery it took rare exceptional personalities to lead others into the unknown. Magellan and Columbus had faults but they had a singular unwavering purpose and never faltered in accomplishing it. This account of Magellan’s voyage doesn’t judge him by our modern cultural standards but places him in the proper context of the 16th century. Well done Mr. Regan.

Review by: Boris Seaweed on July 09 2016:  This historical novel is a literature monument to Ferdinand Magellan and the men of his expedition who first circumnavigated the Earth about 500 years ago and proved in reality that our planet is a globe. It is also a tribute to ‘supernumerary’ Antonio Pigafetta on whose diary the book is based and who in fact was a secretary and scientist of the expedition. The author has done a great job studying, interpreting and giving vitality to Pigafetta’s records, penetrating into the nuances of the political  situation at that time and allotting psychological features to the people closely associated with the preparation and conduct of the expedition, as well as those, whom they met along the way or tried to destroy it. The fact that the author, professional sailor himself,  has repeated the route of the expedition makes this book unique.

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