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North-East Passage to Muscovy: Stephen Borough and the First Tudor Explorations

410 pages5 hours


Nearly 25 years before Francis Drake began his famous voyage around the world a much less well-known sailor led the first great Tudor exploration. The sailor was Stephen Borough, a Devon man, who undertook to find a north-east passage to China and the riches of the Orient. He did not find a north-east passage but he did take the first steps in the creation of Britain's great overseas commercial empire by creating the first trading company - the Muscovy Company. North-East to Muscovy explores for the first time these important and overlooked voyages, the motivation behind them, the geographical knowledge acquired on the voyages which put England in the forefront of cartography, and the extraordinary dealings of the Muscovy Company - which included passing on a proposal of marriage to Elizabeth I from Ivan the Terrible. An exciting tale set at a key point in the development of the English nation, this book encapsulates the determination of Englishmen to undertake feats of endurance in the search for prizes which had eluded their rivals.

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