Featured Link

Featured Link: World Book Trade (e-books, awards, videos)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Bodleian publication: The first Rough Guide for Pilgrims

New Bodleian publication: The first Rough Guide for PilgrimsBodleian Library Publishing's new translation of a rare fifteenth-century pilgrimage account to the Holy Land is perhaps the first known travel guide, and offers compelling insights into travel, religious faith and the topography of Medieval Europe. William Wey was a Devon priest, Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and Bursar of Eton College. Granted special dispensation by Henry VI to go on lengthy pilgrimages, he made three trips between 1456 and 1462 - to Compostella, Rome, and the Holy Land. Prompted by his friends to write an account of his travels, Wey describes in vivid detail his journeys across a Europe embroiled in turmoil. Uniquely, he includes word lists and practical advice on kit, such as taking a small chamber pot should you be too ill to climb to the upper deck of the galley, on conduct, exchange rates, and currency. Wey's account is the first to include this indispensable travel information and, as such, is essentially the original 'Rough Guide for Pilgrims'. The Itineraries of William Wey is the first modern translation of Wey’s travelogues, opening up his writing to a new generation of pilgrims. An intriguing and devout person, Wey is adventurous, highly observant and eminently resourceful. While waiting for the pilgrim galley to sail to Jaffa, for example, Wey spent over a month in Venice and gives a colourful description of a mercantile city in its heyday. Not only was Venice a good place to exchange money and stock up on provisions, but also a theatre of civic pageantry and drama, as Wey describes with awe the elaborate funeral procession of the Doge and the inauguration of his successor

No comments: