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

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,