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The Basque History Of The World

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400 pages


'They are a mythical people, almost an imagined people,' writes Mark Kurlansky. Settled in seven provinces in a corner of France and Spain in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, separated by the daunting Pyrenees Mountains, the Basques are a nation without a country with an ancient and dramatic story that illuminates Europe's own saga. Signs of their civilisation exist well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 BC; many believe they are the original Europeans. Their ancient and forbidden tongue - Euskera - is equally mysterious: it is related to no other language on earth. Yet the Basques' contributions to the world have been clear and remarkable. They have always been a paradoxical blend of inbred tradition and cutting-edge internationalism. Prior to and during the age of exploration, they connected Europe to North and South America, Africa and Asia, and one of their own, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was the first man to circumnavigate the globe in 1522. Their influence has been felt in religion and in business: they were among the first capitalists, and later led the Industrial Revolution in southern Europe. Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout. The book blends political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.



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