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"The book presents new facets - and many controversial ones - of Columbus' career, and the approach is a fresh one."

--Kirkus Reviews

The Velvet Doublet

James H Street

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This is a story of a man called Lepe.

It is the story of a lifetime spent on the sea in the most dazzling years in all the history of navigation and discovery. It is the story of dark days spent under the shadow of the Spanish Inquisition; of bright hours of roistering and shining moments of love. But Lepe's story cannot be told without telling of another man -- a brave, arrogant, and determined visionary. That man is Christopher Columbus.

The time is late in the fifteenth century, when the scimitar of Islam was across North Africa and the Moors still held Granada. Constantinople had fallen to the Turks, and Cathay, with its spices, its gold, and its aloes, lay like a locked treasure chest behind the embattled minarets of the East. Denied these riches, Europe waited for bread while the Holy-Orders fought for men's souls. The long bleak night was upon Europe, and a few men -- only a few -- turned their backs on the East and looked westward toward the Ocean Sea and the Unknown.

Come with Lepe and his friends -- the hunchback called The Rabbit and Areos, the brawny muleteer -- to the seaports of the Mediterranean as they sail with the sagacious Pinzon. Follow them to Palos as they stand on the decks of a little vessel, the Pinta, that August morning and set sail on the great adventure. And watch while mutiny roars through the three tiny ships and the stubborn Columbus sails on, undaunted. And thrill with them when first Lepe sights the cliffs of San Salvador . . . only to be denied, by the temperamental Columbus, the coveted prize promised to the first man to see the New World . . . the Velvet Doublet.

But their story doesn't end here. There is excitement and intrigue, rich good fortune and bitter tragedy, whirlwind passion and uncanny tricks of fate in store for you as you read Lepe's exciting account of the years when Columbus built an ocean bridge to the New World.

The Velvet Doublet - cover

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