The Discovery of Guiana - Walter Raleigh

The Discovery of Guiana

By Walter Raleigh

  • Release Date: 1618-01-01
  • Genre: Specialty Travel


The Discovery of Guiana is a book by Sir Walter Raleigh, who wrote this account one year after his 1595 journey to 'Guiana', the Venezuelan region of Guayana. He also visited Trinidad. The book includes some material of a factual nature, but postulates the existence of a gold-rich civilisation on the basis of little evidence. After enjoying several years of high esteem from Queen Elizabeth I, which stemmed in part from his previous exploits at sea, Raleigh suffered a short imprisonment for secretly marrying one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting. In an attempt to bring himself back into favor, Raleigh sailed to Guiana in 1595, hoping to find gold and other material to exchange or extort. One contemporary scholar remarks of this journey, 'Although the expedition itself was hardly a success—Ralegh conquered no lands, found no stores of wealth, and discovered little not observed by earlier adventurers—he created a triumph for himself by publishing The Discovery'. He returned to Guiana one more time, in 1617, this time after a twelve-year imprisonment at the hands of King James I. Unfortunately for Raleigh, this adventure did not yield more gold, nor did it yield a published account, likely since he was arrested soon after returning, and sentenced to death.