|About the Book|
Starting as a typical tourist, John Lloyd Stephens developedinto an adventurous traveler and popular author, hailed asour greatest travel writer. Then he blossomed into an intrepidexplorer who found over forty sites of the virtually forgotten Maya,MoreStarting as a typical tourist, John Lloyd Stephens developedinto an adventurous traveler and popular author, hailed asour greatest travel writer. Then he blossomed into an intrepidexplorer who found over forty sites of the virtually forgotten Maya,pioneering archaeology in the Americas and rescuing from obscuritya lost civilization. His incredible travels, first in Europe, the Near Eastand the Holy Land, and then in the jungles of Central America andMexico, mark him as a kind of nineteenth-century Indiana Jones.How he transformed from the wandering tourist who scrawled hisname on ancient monuments to the dedicated discoverer whosetheories about the Maya were often years ahead of the scholars is asfascinating as the exploits he chronicled in his books.Based largely on Stephens’ own writings, this biography presentsthe man in the widely different settings that marked his colorfulcareer – the society of his beloved nineteenth-century New York,the forbidding desert of Arabia, plague-ridden Constantinople, andthe uncharted mountains and steaming jungles where the hiddenMaya temples and cities lay under centuries of almost impenetrablevegetation. Readers will see through Stephens’ eyes the hieroglyphiccovered temples of ancient Luxor, the hidden city of Petra, carved outof living rock, and the moment he comes upon the walls of Copan,one of the great moments in archaeology. From his childhood in abooming young New York City, to his years as a lawyer dabblingin politics, to his travels and his four successful books about thosetravels, to his subsequent career as a businessman, Stephens was afascinating figure and an interesting one to read about.STEVEN FRIMMER is a retired editor, with more than thirty yearsexperience in book publishing, and is the author of three previouslypublished books on archaeology.