The Prester Quest
In 1177, Pope Alexander III wrote a letter to the Priest-King of the Indies, Prester John. As his emissary he chose his physician, Master Philip. No one knew where the legendary monarch's kingdom lay (or indeed whether he even existed) but Master Philip was undeterred. He supposedly set out from Venice...and was never heard of again.
Centuries later, Nick Jubber came across a copy of the pope's original letter. Together with his friend Mike, he conceived a plan: to complete Master Philip's mission and deliver the letter, albeit eight hundred and twenty four years late. Setting off from Italy, they made their way around the Eastern Mediterranean world, returning to the Holy Land en route to the medieval geographers' Terra Incognita. Travelling by bus, boat and barouche, train and tractor-drawn cart, they made their way through the desert of Nubia toward the heart of a medieval African empire.
Read an extract from The Prester Quest.
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"Jubber's debut is a gloriously entertaining historical romp. His quest for Prester John is one of suspense and high adventure - a heady blend of epic riddle and historical jigsaw that is written with exuberance, confidence and passion"
Giles Milton, author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg and White Gold
"Having read The Prester Quest almost at a single sitting, I think I can say without fear of contradiction or a libel suit that Nicholas Jubber is full of it. But his is the most passionate, exuberant and charming kind of 'it', and his account of his travels in search of - well, in search of something - is a delight... It is an engrossing and highly enjoyable read..a sumptuous, entertaining and informative historical romp."
"Jubber's search for the legendary priest-king Prester John is quixotic to the point of madness. But his is an inspiring madness, bright with medieval fervour for the obscure, yet softened by scepticism and unflagging humour."
Independent on Sunday
"Jubber's historical romp takes some beating...a cracking idea, and one perfectly suited to Jubber's enthusiastic - if occasionally eccentric - sense of adventure. The result is a glorious mixture of arcane historical facts, intriguing trivia and memorable encounters. I enjoyed it hugely."
Yorkshire Evening Post
"A noble scholarly quest, or a comic Da Vinci Code, or a sort of Bill and Ted do the Crusades. Much fun!"
Hampstead and Highgate Express
"...this is a significant début from a writer who can deliver both serious historical research and entertaining escapades with credibility and passion."
Anthony Sattin, author of The Gates of Africa