About the Travels of Marco Polo:
Rustichello da Pisa was an Italian romance writer best known for cowriting Marco Polo’s autobiography while they were in prison together in Genoa. A native Pisan, he may have been captured by the Genoese at the Battle of Meloria in 1284, amid a conflict between the Republic of Genoa and Pisa. When Polo was imprisoned around 1298, perhaps after a clash between Genoa and Venice (according to tradition the Battle of Curzola), he dictated his tales of travel to Rustichello, and together they turned it into the book known as The Travels of Marco Polo.
The Travels is divided into four books:
Book One describes the lands of the Middle East and Central Asia that Marco encountered on his way to China.
Book Two describes China and the court of Kublai Khan.
Book Three describes some of the coastal regions of the East: Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and the east coast of Africa.
Book Four describes some of the recent wars among the Mongols and some of the regions of the far north, like Russia.
Modern assessments of the text usually consider it to be the record of an observant rather than imaginative or analytical traveler. Polo emerges as being curious and tolerant, and devoted to Kublai Khan and the dynasty that he served for two decades. The book is Polo’s account of his travels to China, which he calls Cathay (north China) and Manji (south China). The Polo party left Venice in 1271. They left China in late 1290 or early 1291 and were back in Venice in 1292.