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1910. With twenty-one illustrations and map. The author's intention in this book is to outline the biographies of certain representative Portuguese of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, giving some account of the society in which they lived and the history which they made. The most momentous incident in that history is Vasco da Gama's first voyage to India in 1497-1499; not only because it closed the main period of the Portuguese discoveries and ushered in a period of conquest and empire; but also because it made an epoch in the history of civilization by establishing direct and permanent contact between Europe and the Far East. Other figures profiled in this volume include Prince Henry the Navigator; Diogo Cao and Bartholomeu Dias, the principal forerunners of Vasco da Gama; Albuquerque, a genius too many-sided to be dismissed in a phrase; King Manoel, the cynical autocrat who played one of the greatest games of diplomacy ever lost; D. Joao de Castro, the fine flower of Portuguese chivalry and culture; King Sebastian, the last of the crusaders; Camoes, the singer who crowned them all with imperishable bays and others.