Francis Guillemard, Antonio Pigafetta, Francisco Albo, Gaspar Correa



The biography of Ferdinand Magellan (1480–1521), the commander of the first ships to sail around the world. Of the five ships and more than 270 men that set out on that famous venture, only one ship was to complete it, with only eighteen men aboard, but Magellan was not one of them.


  TITLE : Magellan

  AUTHORS : Francis Guillemard, Antonio Pigafetta, Francisco Albo, Gaspar Correa

  EDITORS : Keith Bridgeman, Tahira Arsham

  PUBLICATION DATE : 9th August 2008

  ISBN-13 : 978-1-906421-00-7  (ISBN-10 : 1-906421-00-5)

  FORMAT : Paperback


  NUMBER OF ILLUSTRATIONS : 10 (black and white)

  SIZE : 229 mm (height) x 152 mm (width) x 22mm (depth)

  WEIGHT : 615g

  SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION : 920 (Dewey), BGH (BIC subject)





Chapters : 1 - Early life, 2 - Service in India, 3 - Service with Albuquerque, 4 - Service in Morocco, 5 - Gaining the support of Charles V, 6 - Preparing for the voyage, 7 - Magellan's final will, 8 - The ships and their crews, 9 - From Spain to South America, 10 - Mutiny in Port St. Julian, 11 - Discovery of the Strait of Magellan, 12 - Passage of the Strait of Magellan, 13 - Voyage across the Pacific, 14 - Arrival in the Philippines, 15 - The battle of Mactan, 16 - Treachery in Cebu, 17 - The Spice Islands, 18 - The fate of the Trinidad, 19 - The return of the Victoria, 20 - Pigafetta’s journal of the voyage, 21 - Pigafetta’s treatise of navigation, 22 - Albo’s log-book of the voyage, 23 - Account by an unknown Portuguese, 24 - Gaspar Correa’s account, 25 - Account of the "Genoese pilot", 26 - Letter of Maximilian Transylvanus





Ferdinand Magellan was born in Portugal in 1480. In 1517, he went to Spain to see the teenaged Spanish king, the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He sought and gained his support for the first voyage around the world.

In 1519, by then Spanish, Magellan set out from Spain in command of a fleet of five ships. His aim was to sail around the southern tip of South America, even though it was then not known if there was such a route. From there he aimed to make the first ever journey across the Pacific Ocean to the tremendously lucrative Spice Islands, before completing his journey around the world by returning to Spain.

The ship’s crew saw lands, seas, animals, plants, fruits and peoples never seen by Europeans before, including a "camel without humps" (possibly a llama, guanaco, vicuña, or alpaca), and a penguin, that they described as a "black goose" that had to be skinned instead of plucked. They were astonished by the appearance of a Patagonian Giant - a man of gigantic stature on the beach, who sang and danced, pouring sand upon his head in token of amity.

Their epic voyage continued despite mutiny, starvation (which caused them to eat rats, hides and sawdust), scurvy, warfare, and treachery, that resulted in the considerable loss of lives and ships.

Included are all of the first hand accounts of their journey, recorded by Antonio Pigafetta, Francisco Albo, "the unknown Portuguese", Gaspar Correa, the "Genoese pilot", and by Maximilian Transylvanus.

Of the five ships and more than 270 men that set out on that famous first voyage around the world, only one ship was to complete it, with only eighteen of those men aboard, but Magellan was not one of them.


Excerpts of Magellan, including the introduction, the contents, and the front page of every chapter can be read here : MAGELLAN EXCERPTS





Antonio Pigafetta was an Italian navigator. He was one of the few people that completed the entire journey around the world. He kept a journal in which hearsay evidence is largely mixed with personal experience, but which gives by far the best and fullest account of the expedition. Francisco Albo, the contramaestre of the Trinidad, kept a log book of the voyage, largely consisting of nautical observations that provide data for the actual course sailed by the vessels of the fleet. Gaspar Corrêa (c1495-c1561) was a Portuguese historian. He lived mostly in Portuguese India, where he is believed to have gone to in around 1512-1514, to serve as a soldier. He was subsequently chosen as secretary to Afonso de Albuquerque. He is the author of "Lendas da Índia" (Legends of India), which is one of the most important books concerning Portuguese rule in Asia. It benefitted from thirty five years of Corrêa's work in India, and privileged sources unknown to other historians. Francis Guillemard qualified in medicine, then travelled the world writing and researching zoology and geography, and writing Magellan's biography.




Magellan is part of a series of biographies concerning "The Voyages of Discovery" including : Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Pedro Cabral, Bartolomeu Dias, and Amerigo Vespucci. Between them they discovered and opened up most of the then unknown world. For more information go to  VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY






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