Christopher Ondaatje

The Lure of the Peppercorn

Spice: The History of Temptation


HarperCollins 409pp £25 order from our bookshop

COLUMBUS FOUND AMERICA, Magellan circumnavigated the globe, and Vasco da Gama sailed around Mica to India. These three adventurers were the standard-bearers for the age of discovery, but were in fact driven not so much by a passion for exploration as by the potential rewards for satisfyng Europe’s all-consuming hunger for spice. Jack Turner’s history of the spice race, and of the tastes and appetites that ignited it, is a tour de force, and it gives a full account of the exploits of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries’ explorers.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter