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My Shipmate—Columbus   By: (1928-2008)

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Stephen Marlowe's historical novel, My Shipmate—Columbus, takes readers on an enthralling journey through the life of the legendary explorer Christopher Columbus. Marlowe's meticulous research and vivid storytelling bring to life the challenges and triumphs that Columbus experienced as he embarked on his perilous voyage to the New World.

One of the most compelling aspects of this book is Marlowe's ability to capture the essence of Columbus's character. Through his meticulous attention to detail, the author presents Columbus as a complex figure driven by a burning desire to discover new lands and expand the horizons of his age. Marlowe delves into Columbus's private life, exploring his relationship with his shipmates, his unwavering determination, and the personal sacrifices he made in pursuit of his dreams.

Marlowe's meticulous research is evident throughout the novel, as he seamlessly weaves historical facts with his own brilliant interpretations. From the tense negotiations with the Spanish monarchy to the treacherous conditions faced by the sailors on board, each chapter is filled with rich descriptions that transport readers back to the vibrant world of 15th-century Europe. The vivid depiction of the landscapes and the dangers of the sea allows readers to truly immerse themselves in the harsh reality faced by Columbus and his crew.

However, what sets My Shipmate—Columbus apart from other historical novels is Marlowe's ability to shed light on the moral complexities surrounding Columbus's endeavors. Marlowe does not shy away from addressing the controversial aspects of Columbus's legacy, offering a nuanced portrayal of a historical figure who is both revered and criticized. By exploring Columbus's interactions with indigenous communities and the subsequent consequences of his actions, Marlowe prompts readers to reflect upon the impact of exploration and colonialism.

The pacing of the novel is another strength, keeping the reader engaged and eager to turn the pages. Marlowe effectively builds suspense, particularly during the climactic moments of Columbus's voyage, making it difficult to put the book down. Additionally, the author's evocative prose adds depth and emotion to the narrative, allowing readers to experience the hardships, joys, and uncertainties alongside the characters.

While the historical backdrop and the figure of Columbus might seem daunting to some readers, Marlowe's skillful storytelling and attention to detail make My Shipmate—Columbus accessible and engaging for both history enthusiasts and those new to the genre. The book serves as a captivating exploration of a pivotal moment in human history and offers valuable insights into the complexities of exploration and its consequences.

In conclusion, Stephen Marlowe's My Shipmate—Columbus is a remarkable historical novel that brings to life the fascinating world of Christopher Columbus. With its meticulously researched details, complex characterization, and engaging prose, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in the Age of Exploration and its enduring impact. Marlowe's masterful storytelling leaves a lasting impression, making this book a true gem in the historical fiction genre.

First Page:

My Shipmate Columbus


We've been taught from childhood that the earth is round and that Columbus discovered America. But maybe we take too much on faith. This first crossing for instance. Were you there? Did you see Columbus land? Here's the story of a man who can give us the straight facts.

The laughter brought spots of color to his cheeks. He stood there for a while, taking it, and then decided he had had enough and would sit down. A whisper of amusement still stirred the room as he returned to his seat and the professor said,

"But just a moment, Mr. Jones. Won't you tell the class what makes you think Columbus was not the 'bold skipper' the history books say he was. After all, Mr. Jones, this is a history class. If you know more or better history than the history books do, isn't it your duty to tell us?"

[Illustration: He clutched at his slashed veins and snarled into the face of death.]

"I didn't say he wasn't ," Danny Jones said desperately as the laughter started again. Some profs were like that, he thought. Picking on one student and making the rest of the class laugh and think what a great guy the prof was and what a prize dodo the hapless student was. "I said," Danny went on doggedly, "Columbus might not have been maybe wasn't the bold skipper the history books claim he was... Continue reading book >>

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