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The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado
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The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
1595: A hundred Englishmen, led by Sir Walter Raleigh, row up a river in South America in search of the lost city of El Dorado. Four hundred years later, Nicholl follows their trail into the strange terrain of this enduring legendary obsession. Coloring and deepening the intense recollections of the original Elizabethan expedition are stories of the legendary bush pilot Ji ...more
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by William Morrow & Company (first published 1995)
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Daren
Having read Nicholl's earlier book The Fruit Palace, which was excellent, I had expected a similar narrative - but this book was very different.

Where The Fruit Palace was about Nicholl, and his time in Colombia - almost gonzo in style where the author becomes the story, in this book he took a back seat to Walter Ralegh (as he spells it throughout this book, rather than the more conventional "Raleigh" - a convention I will follow below.) This book shows a much more mature style - heavily research
...more
Steve
Feb 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Mid 4. Nicholl has produced a veritable feast of historical research into Ralegh's vainglorious, and ultimately futile search for El Dorado. As such, he provides insightful background as to Ralegh's fall from grace and growing obsession in locating the riches of this fabled land. This eminent poet, courtier, and seafarer had enjoyed grest prestige during the 1580s when his role as chief promoter of the colonisation of America marked the apogee of his career. However, the failed settlements at Ro ...more
Jeroen Van de Crommenacker
I found this book strangely flat and uninspiring. After the Fruit Palace I expected a lot more. It is a bit more scholarly and a lot less fun; unfortunately.
David R.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-history, travel
Nicholl does a lot with a little. From the sketchy and fragmentary documentary evidence he traces the 1595 journey of Sir Walter Raleigh to what is now northeastern Venezuala, in search of the fabled city of gold. And, Nicholl makes the trip himself, both to the places Raleigh may have explored as well as the actual gold mining sites of the 19th and 20th centuries. The book also explores Raleigh's occult fixations, native American culture, and related themes.
Walter Kdz
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A good book if you like Elizabethan history (I got interested after seeing the Cate Blanchett films). The last section contains an interesting theory – backed by old documents - that Ralegh went to Guiana to fulfil his ambitions as an alchemist.
Patrick O'Mahony
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Great book so far, I love the subject matter, but from the first twenty or so pages I like how he has written it...
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