- What did Columbus see when he arrived in the new world? In what ways was he influenced by the traditions of travel writers such as Mandeville and Polo?
- Explain the role of ‘wonder’ in Columbus’s writings. How does Greenblatt interpret Columbus's experiences in the Caribbean?
- Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage, 1492-3
This text is available in many different formats. See for example:
- Christopher Columbus and the Enterprise of the Indies: A Brief History with Documents, ed. Geoffrey Symcox and Blair Sullivan, Palgrave (2005).
- Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage, 1492-3, American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement, http://www.americanjourneys.org/aj-062/index.asp.
- ‘Medieval Sourcebook: Christopher Columbus, Extracts from Journal’, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columbus1.html (extracts).
- ‘The Log of Christopher Columbus’, http://www.columbusnavigation.com/diario.shtml.
- Also see very full discussion of the 1494 Columbus letter at http://www.usm.maine.edu/%7Emaps/columbus/toc.html.
Required Secondary Reading
- Greenblatt, Stephen, Marvellous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World, Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1991), Chapter 3: ‘Marvellous Possessions’ (THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT COPIES IN THE LIBRARY SO YOU WILL NEED TO PLAN AHEAD A LITTLE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WHOLE CLASS MANAGE TO READ THIS).
Additional Secondary Readings
- Campbell, Mary B., The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel writing, 400-1600, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, 1989), chapter 5.
- Flint, Valerie, The Imaginative Landscape of Christopher Columbus, University of Princeton Press (Princeton, 1992).
- Hulme, Peter, ‘Tales of Distinction: European Ethnography and the Caribbean’, in Stuart Schwartz, ed., Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting and Reflecting on the Encounters between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 1994).
- Hulme, Peter, and Neil Whitehead, eds., Wild Majesty: Encounters with Caribs from Columbus to the Present Day, Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1992).
- Pagden, Anthony, European Encounters with the New World, Yale University Press (New Haven, 1993).
- Pastor Bodmer, Beatriz, The Armature of Conquest: Spanish Accounts of the Discovery of America, 1492-1589, Stanford University Press (Stanford, 1992), chapter 1.
- Watts, Pauline Moffitt, ‘Prophecy and Discovery: On the Spiritual Origins of Christopher Columbus’ ‘Enterprise of the Indies’’, American Historical Review, vol. 90:1 (1985).
- Zamora, Margarita, Reading Columbus, University of California Press (Berkeley, 1993).