Summary of Marco Polo

From Venice to Xanadu

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Marco Polo book summary
“In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree.” Immortal? Thank Marco Polo as you read about his amazing life.


8 Overall

6 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


During the Middle Ages, most Europeans were poor peasants who never ventured more than a few miles beyond their villages. During this provincial era, Venetian merchant Marco Polo traveled almost all the known world. Like a water bug skimming across a pond, Polo journeyed to the ancient Holy Land, the Levantine, Arabia, Asia Minor, central Asia, Cathay (China), India, Southeast Asia, Africa and to other exotic lands. The captain of a Venetian ship, Polo eventually was captured by the Genoese after a brutal naval battle. He spent many long days and nights in jail describing nearly two decades of remarkable travel to fellow inmate, writer and avid note-taker Rustichello da Pisa. Polo told of serving as a trusted emissary for the fabled Kublai Khan, emperor of the Mongols. Polo’s remarkable story became a hugely influential book, The Travels of Marco Polo. Like someone spinning a yarn of his adventures as an intergalactic warrior in the far reaches of outer space, Polo told a tale that was almost mythical – yet in most particulars absolutely true and accurate. getAbstract finds that Laurence Bergreen’s fascinating biography of Polo ably describes him and his fabulous adventures in comprehensive detail and great color. You owe it to yourself to explore this delightful book.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Who Marco Polo was
  • Who Kublai Khan was
  • What fascinating experiences Polo had during his widespread journeys


The Polos' Magical Travels and Exploits
In 1298, the “Most Serene Republic of Venice” was at war with Genoa, another powerful Italian city-state. Indeed, the two naval powers had been fighting for decades, mostly at sea, battling for lucrative eastern trading routes. During the famous ...
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About the Author

Award-winning biographer Laurence Bergreen is also the author of James Agee: A Life and Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe.

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