The India Road

Since I think the function of this blog, like any other, is discussion, posting entire book chapters will make it too heavy. For that reason, every time a chapter is posted, I’m going to do it through a weblink. And whenever I make a post, I’ll make a couple of notes on content.

The first chapter (Prologue) begins with the first few lines of the diary of Gama’s first voyage, which took him from Lisbon to Calicut (not to be confused with Calcutta, located in West Bengal, on the other side of India). The diary was written by Alvaro Velho, and describes all the outbound journey and part of the inbound. It isn’t clear why the journal abruptly ends, but it could be due to illness or even death of the author. The subsequent text introduces one of the main characters, Pero da Covilha, who was a spy for King John II. He was a key figure in Portuguese history of the period – the best biography of this extraordinary man was written by the Conde de Ficalho in the XIXth century. The book is pretty hard to find, but the Library of Congress has a copy.

I welcome any feedback. I will not moderate, screen or edit any posts, anything written by you will go up on the screen. The days of censorship are over.


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