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The Creature in the Map

A Journey to El Dorado

"This brilliantly written reconstruction of Sir Walter Raleigh’s 1595 South American journey combines painstaking scholarship, vivid travelogue, and an intuitive sensitivity for the many meanings of the El Dorado myth. . . . Nicholl brings this six-week expedition to life. . . . A rare treat for both intellect and imagination."—Kirkus Reviews

"Walter Raleigh . . . was one of those Elizabethan all-rounders who still seem staggeringly larger than life. . . . Mr. Nicholl’s cogent reconstruction of the journey uses Raleigh’s own account, ’The Discoverie of Guiana’—part truth, part advertising, part rhapsody—and much well-found ancillary material."—Anthony Bailey, New York Times

"Like The Reckoning, his brilliant account of the murder of Christopher Marlowe, Nicholl’s new book might be called an exercise in historical conjuring. The Creature in the Map is an effort not only to analyse but also to call into presence the lived experience of the voyage Raleigh undertook in 1595 to the Orinoco Delta in what is now Venezuela."—Stephen Greenblatt, Times Literary Supplement

"Charles Nicholl belongs to an elite company, that of historians who know how to make research into arcane matters and distant times as engrossing as In Cold Blood or All the President’s Men."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

405 pages | 18 halftones, 4 maps, 10 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1995

History: General History

Table of Contents

Part One: The Guiana Voyage
1. Mapping El Dorado
2. Ralegh’s America
3. A Gentleman of Spain
4. Love and Exile
5. Preparations
6. The Crew
7. Atlantic Crossing
8. Trinidad
Part Two: The Entrada
9. The Gulf of Sadness
10. The Delta
11. Tivitivas
12. The Medicine Man
13. The Guiana Bend
14. Dark Eyes
15. Lords of the Borders
16. Downtown Orinoco
Part Three: The New Dorado
17. Gold Rush
18. Jimmy Angel
19. Canaima
20. Meeting Laime
21. Welcome to El Dorado
Part Four: The Return
22. Downriver
23. Home
24. Ordinary Prizes
25. Balsam of Guiana
26. A Golden World
27. On Red Cross River
28. The Shut Palace
1. The Sparry Papers
2. Ralegh’s Chart
3. The Fleet

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