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Messer Marco Polo

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Donn Byrne was a storyteller, the last, as he himself explained, of a long line of Irish storytellers. He belonged to the school of the romantic, the rhetorical, the magical—in short to the stylists of storytelling. Here is the convincing and unscholarly tale of Marco Polo’s courtship of Golden Bells, the daughter of Kubla Khan, and of his journey from Venice, “Bride of th ...more
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1946 by Penguin Books Ltd. (first published 1921)
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George You can check it out yourself for free. Project Gutenberg has transcribed it: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2058.

So far as I can tell from skimming,…more
You can check it out yourself for free. Project Gutenberg has transcribed it: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2058.

So far as I can tell from skimming, the most explicit passage, in Chapter V, regards some wholly different women, "the great grave lady with the large, pale mouth, her that was of his mind, and the little black cloak-maker with the eager, red mouth, her that was closer than mind or heart to him." The former complains that Polo's poetry says her "bosom is like two little russet apples" whereas "a regular poet once compared it to two great silver cups, and that was a good comparison".

As for the latter:
"I like a hug," she says, "would put the breath out of you, and a kiss," she says, "you could feel in the soles of your feet."
and
"Sure, he drank like a fish and beat me something cruel, but he was a rare lover, and the mood on him. Sure, a woman never knows when she's well off," says she.(less)
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3.48  · 
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 ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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Rhiannon
Loved the imagery and story! It has adventure, romance, and philosophy.
Stephanie
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
First off, I am a sucker for travel and exploration books and this book delivered. I have read the travels of Marco Polo before and gotten side tracked by the lengthy descriptions of the various places. While I love to be able to imagine the settings that the travelers are in, I can't read three pages on the description of one tree.

This book started quick which I loved and kept moderately paced throughout. I was entertained and absorbed for all of it. I liked that the author wasn't trying to cr
...more
John
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
An elderly Irishman tells the story of Marco Polo to his young American nephew. Magical. The descriptions of Venice, the journey across Asia, his courtship of the Khan's daughter and their lives is narrated in a lively manner that makes this fantastic yarn believable.
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Irish novelist Donn Byrne was born Brian Oswald Patrick Donn-Byrne in New York on 20 November 1889. His Irish parents were on a business trip at the time, so soon after he returned with them to Ireland. He grew up being equally fluent in Irish and English, growing up in an area were Gaelic was still spoken.

He turns up as a singing, fair-haired boy in the annals of Bulmer Hobson's Irish volunteer m
...more