Review: A View from the North, Ernle Bradford

Rating: 3 out of 5

I have long been interested in the figure of Dom Enrique. This biography, though six decades old and slightly depreciated, was informative and interesting. The author’s style would not work for narrative historiography in the modern day, but it does provide for a good insight into the life of dom Enrique.

As this account gives it, dom Enrique had his mistakes and faults of personality. Some of these ended up causing him and his family grievous harm in the long run. At the same time, the prince was both careful and diligent, undaunted by failure and success in realising his dreams. The way in which the author described dom Enrique’s persistence in the face of continuous success was particularly hearty to read: it can’t have been easy being him. Very few of us indeed would suffer fourteen years of failures…

As such, this is both an accessible and a relatively decent biography of the Navigator. While much of it is antiquated and controversial today, I could also add that the author was not a great fan of quoting ‘relevant’ material though he quoted and referenced plenty of other writers. The author also has very well defined biases. Nevertheless, the dearth of accessible material in English on dom Enrique makes this a good stepping stone.

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