Over the Edge of the World

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Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Author Laurence Bergreen
Country United States
Language English
Subject Ferdinand Magellan, Age of Discovery, History of Spain
Genre History
Publisher William Morrow and Company
Publication date
October 14, 2003
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Pages 458
ISBN 978-0066211732
OCLC 123540266
LC Class bl2006012914
Preceded by Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth (2000)
Followed by Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu (2007)

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe is a book written by biographer Laurence Bergreen, first published by William Morrow and Company in 2003.[1][2]


Over the Edge of the World is biography of Ferdinand Magellan that chronicles his voyage from Spain to attempt the circumnavigation of the globe. Magellan was born into a wealthy Portuguese family in around 1480, and became a skilled sailor and naval officer. Despite efforts to sail for his native Portugal, Magellan fell out of favor with the Portuguese King Manuel I and was later selected by King Charles I of Spain to search for a westward route to the Maluku Islands (the "Spice Islands") on behalf of the Spanish Empire. Commanding a fleet of five vessels, he headed south through the Atlantic Ocean to Patagonia, passing through the Strait of Magellan into the Pacific Ocean. Despite a series of storms and mutinies, the expedition reached the Spice Islands in 1521 and returned home via the Indian Ocean to complete the first circuit of the globe. Magellan did not complete the entire voyage, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in 1521.[3][4]


The book has received mostly positive reviews.[5] Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Susan Spano said, "The book tells the gripping story of a 60,000-mile ocean voyage...by turns sorrowful, violent and promiscuous."[6] The New York Times wrote of the book, "It is all here in wondrous detail, a first-rate historical page turner."[3] The Associated Press and Publishers Weekly have also reviewed the book favorably.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Excerpt: 'Over the Edge of the World' NPR. March 10, 2016
  2. ^ Smith, Scott S. Ferdinand Magellan’s Daring Voyage Proved World Round Investor's Business Daily. March 10, 2016
  3. ^ a b Bolster, Jeffrey Little Ship of Horrors New York Times. March 11, 2016
  4. ^ Bergreen, Laurence (2003). Over the Edge of the World. 
  5. ^ And Bear In Mind New York Times Review of Books. March 10, 2016
  6. ^ Spano, Susan The father of globalization gets his due Los Angeles Times. March 11, 2016
  7. ^ OVER THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe Publishers Weekly. March 10, 2016
  8. ^ Brown, Norman Magellan's saga, a page-turner Online Athens. March 10, 2016

External links[edit]