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Home > Catalogue > The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama
The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama
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  • 30 b/w illus. 4 maps
  • Page extent: 428 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521646291 | ISBN-10: 0521646294)

DOI: 10.2277/0521646294

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available
  • Published October 1998

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 09:51 GMT, 27 November 2015)


Vasco da Gama (?1469–1524) is well known as one of a generation of discoverers, along with Magellan, Cabral, and Columbus. Yet little is known about his life, or about the context within which he 'discovered' the all-sea route to India in 1497–99. This book, based on a mass of published and unpublished sources in Portuguese and other languages, delineates Gama's career and social context, focusing on the delicate balance between 'career' and 'legend'. The book addresses broad questions of myth-building and nationalism, while never losing sight of Gama himself.

• A paperback edition of Subrahmanyam's complex study of the great Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who found the sea route to India 1497–99 • Explains for the first time the career and self-made myth of Vasco da Gama and the realities of his social circumstances • Arguably the most sophisticated and intellectually refined study ever to have been written about one of the great fifteenth-century discoverers


Preface; 1. Overture: bones of contention; 2. The heritage of Santiago; 3. To Calicut and back; 4. The attempt to consolidate; 5. The wilderness years; 6. A career culminates; Finale: the judgements of posterity; Bibliography.


'… exhaustively documented, and dense with information.' The Times Literary Supplement

'Subrahmanyam is an exemplary scholar. His knowledge of the subject is unsurpassed.' The Sunday Times

' … a book notable as much for its formidable scholarship as for the boldness and breadth of its conception'. Cultura

' … an outstanding biography … which makes it easy to follow Vasco Da Gama's career'. Business Standard

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