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On the Map by Simon Garfield

On the Map

Biography / Autobiography   History   The Real World   Travel   eBook Favourites   
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Packed with interesting facts, written in an incredibly accessible style this book is simply amazing. From early attempts to map the world, where strangely East was at the top of some maps (hence the term Orient yourself), to a map of the world created by Facebook connections Simon Garfield shows how maps and map making have been central to human knowledge and development.


On the Map by Simon Garfield

From Mappa Mundi to Myst - the bestselling Just My Type author turns his gaze to maps. Maps have the most amazing stories - and Simon Garfield is the perfect author to tell them. This is a book that will inspire mapophiles but engage even those of us who stare blankly at an OS pathfinder's hieroglyphs. Just as Garfield found the magic in fonts, here he creates compelling narratives on everything from the challenge of mapping the oceans tospellbinding treasure maps to the naming of America, from Churchill's crucial war maps to the lay-out of a Monopoly board, from crime maps to music maps, from rare map dealers to cartographic frauds. En route, there are 'map-break' tales on Michelin and railway maps, how to fold a map maps of places that never existed, a London A-Z from 1677 and the weirdness of videogame mapping. On The Map will explain where we've been, how we got there and where we're going.


'Every so often someone writes a book about an obscure subject and uses it to illuminate the rest of the world... this is one of the best'
(William Leith, Evening Standard)

'After being walked through these stories, it's difficult to even look at a cereal packet in the same way again

'This is a smart, funny, accessible book that does for typography what Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves did for punctuation'
(New York Times)

About the Author

Simon Garfield

Simon Garfield was our Guest Editor in October 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of non-fiction including On the Map, Just My Type and The Wrestling. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive, Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles, were bestsellers, and his study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham prize. He lives in London and St Ives, Cornwall.

Author photo © Sarah Lee

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Book Info

Publication date

4th October 2012


Simon Garfield

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Profile Books Ltd


464 pages


Biography / Autobiography
The Real World
eBook Favourites

Historical geography
History of ideas



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