The quincentennial celebration of the first Colombian voyage has stimulated a still growing literature reevaluating the European discovery of what came to be the Americas. As might be expected, Columbus has been the focal point of much of that literature. Miles H. Davidson found himself uncomfortable with several of the recent works on Columbus particularly those published in the United States in the last twenty years and at the suggestion of David Henige, he undertook a critique of the modern versions of the olumbus myth. Davidson does not claim to be either a biographer or a historian. He is a writer and a collector of Columbiana who found himself disturbed by the general lack of use and the occasional misuse of the primary and secondary sources for the life of Columbus. In this book, he has not so much attempted to demythologize the history of Columbus as he has to provide the archival data with which to judge Columbus's biographers. In doing so he also offers the basic outlines for a biography of Columbus based on the available contemporary documentation.