New Books Network

Shayne Legassie talks about medieval travel, especially long distance travel, and the way it was feared, praised, and sometimes treated with suspicion. He also...

Shayne Legassie talks about medieval travel, especially long distance travel, and the way it was feared, praised, and sometimes treated with suspicion. He also talks about the role the Middle Ages played in creating modern conceptions of travel and travel writing. Legassie is an associate professor of English and Comparative literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Medieval Invention of Travel (University of Chicago, 2017).

Over the course of the Middle Ages, the economies of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa became more closely integrated, fostering the international and intercontinental journeys of merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, missionaries, and adventurers. During a time in history when travel was often difficult, expensive, and fraught with danger, these wayfarers composed accounts of their experiences in unprecedented numbers and transformed traditional conceptions of human mobility.


Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He’s the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He’s also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration.