from Chapter 3
Columbus, Son of Innocent VIII
Nothing is known of Columbus’s youth; his visibility begins with his arrival in Portugal. Surely his relationship with his father must have been extremely important in the formation of his character. This is even revealed by the navigator’s handwriting: polished, perfect, and ecclesiastic in style, in a time when simple sailors did not know how to read or write.
Merely being such a good calligrapher would have been enough to allow Columbus to support himself, and, if this fact is logically assessed, it is sufficient in itself to overturn hearsay. His father certainly...