'An extraordinary compendium of history and art … a marvel of a book … a brilliant survey that could not be put together in real time, a catalogue of an exhibition that could never be … This is a book to fundamentally jolt our endemic Eurocentricism and Western complacency … [a] one-volume museum'
'The many magnificent illustrations make one long to go travelling'
Spectator, Martin Gayford’s Books of the Year
'A superbly illustrated volume … the huge variety of the travellers and the merchandise along these complex trajectories is handsomely laid out in this delightful, informative and continually surprising work'
The Arts Desk, Books of the Year
'A book to experience rather than read … simultaneously erudite and accessible'
Asian Review of Books
'Stunning maps and artifacts combine with evocative landscapes as well as troubling tales of plunder, serving as a timely reminder of the rich rewards of meaningful communication and candid cultural exchange within and between the continents'
'Sections on Christian monasticism in Africa and Asia and the emergence of lapis lazuli make compelling reading. At a time when global politics and economy are hit by uncertainty, this book emphasises how movement and exchange fostered economic activity and cultural and political ideas'
The Art Society
'Revealing on every level and will undoubtedly cast a spell upon the reader … this is one journey not to be missed'
'This beautiful publication honours the astonishing diversity in the way cultures advance and flourish not in spite of their differences, but because of them'
'The value of this sumptuous book lies not in its decorative coffee-table desirability but because it serves to remind us that human difference and interaction is vitally necessary for progress. In an era marked by international wall-building and little compassion towards refugees and migrants, we would do well to remember this'
World of Interiors