I'm an avid reader and lover of history. I learned SO much from 'The Cartographer ~ 1492' about the very real problems that existed around the same time that Columbus was trying to raise the funds to sail west.
Never before had I thought of how the Inquisition was taking place at the SAME exact time. It truly played a huge part in how Columbus had to hide what was common knowledge to sea Captains and map makers.. and men of science. BUT.. the church was at war with science and doing it's durndest.. to "save" the souls of men and women who were educated.
I love how the story weaves around a noble man.. the young noble widow to whom he's falling in love with.. and her loyal servant. The characters are so well fleshed out.. that when they're arrested by the Catholic Church.. you're heart just takes a jump.. praying for their safety! lol There are only a few characters in the story that are fictional. The rest are all VERY real.. and played such a huge part of mankind's exploration in the west.. in spite of the efforts of a Church.. that wanted nothing more than seized riches and to control the population through fear.
I also learned much about Jewish history that was unknown to me. Found it rather interesting that Columbus himself.. may have had to hide the fact.. that he was Jewish. The date of August 2nd is very important in the Jewish faith. It truly does add to the mystery.. that Columbus fasted on that day.. did NOT sail out of harbor until August 3rd, 1492. The fact that Spain ordered ALL of Jewish descent to be out of Spain by August 2nd, 1492 was also unknown to me.
The author does a wonderful job describing life on board a ship! I had assumed that Columbus purchased his ships. NOPE. They were leased by the Royal family.. who wanted more lands and gold to be claimed in THEIR name. Tis' sad.. that Columbus's homeland's King opted NOT to finance the journey. You also learn a bit about VD.. and how it was brought back from the islands to Europe by the men who sailed with Columbus.. as well as the few Indians he brought back with him.
I don't want to spoil the book.. but, omg!!!!! It's one.. that I highly recommend to anyone that loves history.. AND adventure!