Talk:John Mandeville

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Priority * -- 08:43, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
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Yogh go girl[edit]

A quote contains the phrase: "and translated it a3en out of Frensche into Englyssche"

Is the three intended to be a yogh, making it meaning "and translated it again out of French into English" (a modern English rendering)? If so, it should probably be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by VincentValentine29 (talkcontribs) 18:13, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and changed the three to a yogh. VincentValentine29 (talk) 16:16, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

This whole article stinks of original research. It doesn't read like a Wikipedia article at all. There are also far too few citations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, IMHO it stinks of copying from an encyclopedia, perhaps EB 1911. I hope there isn't a copyright infringement someone under all of the edits that have doubtlessly been made to this article. -- llywrch (talk) 22:30, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Half a decade has gone by, and much is still without citation.


An anon IP with no other contribution added the sentence, "Though some dispute his existence his descendents do not."

First, if he had people who were clearly descendents, there would be no dispute as to his existence.

Second, nobody really disputes his existence--clearly some man wrote this collection of travel stories, some his own and some plagiarised.

My guess is that, if this wasn't a joke or random vandalism, it was added either by some person with bizarre mystical/orientalist beliefs, or by someone with an axe to grind about some inheritance that was stolen centuries ago with the loss of Aquitaine or something of the sort. -- (talk) 20:09, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I tagged it as citation needed because it also struck me as odd. Your first point is spot on. I think the point of his "existence" is more that we do not know who he is specifically, and the person who wrote the tales could have been anyone. Thus, those who claim to be his descendants are trying to say that it really was a "Sir John Mandeville" and not a different person. Just my two cents. VincentValentine29 (talk) 20:21, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but I've never heard of anyone claiming to be his descendents. I searched and couldn't find any references anywhere to anything remotely similar. It was either a crackpot or a vandal, and I doubt he'll ever be here again. If the sentence actually said something coherent, I'd say leave it for a while just in case, but as it stood, it was both nonsensical and nonsequitur. -- (talk) 10:44, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I concur. VincentValentine29 (talk) 12:38, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


Should mention the alphabets given in the Mandeville manuscripts, which have been a source of bemusement or amusement in recent centuries (I think that some of them have been even converted into computer fonts now...). -- AnonMoos (talk) 04:58, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Fountain of Youth[edit]

Article could use some fleshing out of Mandeville's involvement with the whole Fountain of Youth deal. — LlywelynII 04:25, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Supossed Authors and contradictions[edit]

Under identity we have The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was “the work of Jan de Langh" but under contemporary corrobation we have beyond a reasonable doubt Johains a le Barbe. Then under contemporary mention we are told that neither de Langh nor le Barbe has proof, but we are instead given the names Johan de Bourgoyne and Johan Mangevilayn.

My point is that there are some contradictions here. Scholars generally agree that no one knows who wrote the story, though there are a lot of theories as to possibilities. I suggest the authorship section be condensed into one section and cleaned up. I'll try to help but I don't have much time now.Editfromwithout (talk) 23:07, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Whether Mandeville Could Have Translated His (Her/Their) Own Work[edit]

As noted above, this article contains a lot that is without citation. What struck me as particularly curious was this paragraph as it appears in the current (Dec 2014) version:

"That none of the forms of the English version can be from the same hand which wrote the original is made patent by their glaring errors of translation, but the Cotton text asserts in the preface that it was made by Mandeville himself, and this assertion was till lately taken on trust by almost all modern historians of English literature. The words of the original "je eusse cest livret mis en Latin ... mais je lay mis,en römant" were mistranslated as if "je eusse" meant "I had" instead of "I should have", and then (whether of fraudulent intent or by the error of a copyist thinking to supply an accidental omission) the words were added "and translated it aȝen out of Frensche into Englyssche". Mätzner (Altenglische Sprachproben, I., ii., 154–155) seems to have been the first to show that the current English text cannot possibly have been made by Mandeville himself. Of the original French there is no satisfactory edition, but Dr. Vogels has undertaken a critical text, and Dr. Warner has added to his Egerton English text the French of a British Museum manuscript with variants from three others."

Well... who says this? Is there some original research going on? I'd particularly like to know who attests to "glaring errors of translation." I'm not a language expert, by far, so I can't determine whether the quoted passage is actually an example of a translation error. But the claim that something which should read "should have," rather than "had," doesn't seem clear to me at all. In Middle English, it was quite routine to use "had" in the sense that a modern English user would express as "would have," or "should have," and the text that's being translated explicitly uses "mais"/"but"... so there doesn't seem to be anything wrong grammatically in writing "I had written in Latin, but..." when the author had not written in Latin.

The following sentence "Mätzner (Altenglische Sprachproben, I., ii., 154–155) seems to have been the first to show that the current English text cannot possibly have been made by Mandeville himself," may or may not have been intended as a citation of the source of this, but it also makes me wonder about the use of the word "seems."

None of this addresses the question of why one would assume that John Mandeville (or whoever wrote the book) would not be capable of making even "glaring" errors in translating his own book.

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