The Fourth Part of the World

  • by Toby Lester
  • Narrated by Peter Jay Fernandez
  • 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Brimming with enthralling details and personalities, Toby Lester's The Fourth Part of the World spotlights Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 world map and recounts the epic tale of the mariners and scholars who facilitated this watershed of Western history. Five hundred years ago, an obscure German scholar took a quantum leap in thought to design a groundbreaking map. It included such innovations as labeling a separate New World continent America and approximating the world as we know it today. Inherent in this magnificent masterpiece are clear echoes from the adventures of Marco Polo, the discoveries of Christopher Columbus, the explorations of Amerigo Vespucci, numerous Renaissance journeys, and much more. Fully realized by Peter Jay Fernandez's superb narration, this vivid account will help listeners appreciate why - in 2003 - the Library of Congress paid 10 million dollars for this 6-foot by 9.5-foot antiquity and the authenticating documents found with it in 1901.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I enjoyed it

a good listen. Although is WAS helpful to go online to view/download the various maps that are referenced to throughout the story. Actually it is absolutely required to understand what is being said. But it is easy enough to do.
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- Todd

A wonderful book

What did you love best about The Fourth Part of the World?

It draws together many seemingly disparate things such as cartography, Columbus, ancient astronomy, Marco Polo, sea voyages, Renaissance humanism, etc., and of course the name 'America', into a new and exciting perspective.


What did you like best about this story?

The way it draws in so many divers people and things.


Which character – as performed by Peter Jay Fernandez – was your favorite?

The young humanist Matthias Ringmann. Fernandez is an excellent reader who is engaged in what he is reading; he is among the very best. His pronunciation of foreign names are for the most part OK (he even knows Portugese). However, Waldseemüller (pronounced Wald-zay-müller) sounds like Wald-zi-müller, and the accent is misplaced in the Italian names Piccolomini and Pico della Mirandola (Picco-LO-mini and Mi-RAN-dola, not Piccolo-MI-ni and Miran-DO-la). I point this out as listeners may pick up the mispronunciations. Pierre d'Ailly (Ch.6 of the book) is properly pronounced, but it is not easy to find the correct spelling from the sound, so I mention it here for non-French-speakers. [the book chapters do not correspond to the audiobook chapters: this is a pain]


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Almost cried listening to the discovery of the long-lost map.


Any additional comments?

I had not imagined I could be so thrilled with a book whose main subject is cartography. I would not miss this book for anything.

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- Acteon "Acteon"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2009
  • Publisher: Recorded Books