Christopher Columbus has generated a legend which exceeds even the achievements of his own lifetime. This text aims to build up a believable portrait of Columbus, set in the context of the world in which he lived. It examines the explorer's quest for patronage and the development of his geographical ideas, as well as describing his famous voyages and subsequent explorations, and his disastrous career as a colonial administrator. It tells of the personal tragedy of this man, who was born a weaver's son, and died in bitterness. Throughout the book, Columbus's character is examined - his social ambition, his conflicting motivation, his divergent perceptions of his discoveries, and his uneasy relationships with patrons and friends. Instead of portraying him as the unchanging victim of his own certainty, the book reveals a human Columbus, with attitudes and ideas that changed over time.
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