On the Map Why the World Looks the Way it Does
Maps fascinate us. They chart our understanding of the world and they log our progress, but above all they tell our stories. From the early sketches of philosophers and explorers through to Google Maps and beyond, Simon Garfield examines how maps both relate and realign our history. With a historical sweep ranging from Ptolemy to Twitter, Garfield explores the legendary, impassable (and non-existent) mountains of Kong, the role of cartography in combatting cholera, the 17th-century Dutch craze for Atlases, the Norse discovery of America, how a Venetian monk mapped the world from his cell and the Muppets' knack of instant map-travel. Along the way are pocket maps of dragons, Mars, murders and more, with plenty of illustrations and prints to signpost the route. From the bestselling and widely-adored author of Just My Type, On The Map is a witty and irrepressible examination of where we've been, how we got there and where we're going.
Simon Garfield lives in St Ives, Cornwall and Hampstead, London. He'll consider event and festival requests locally and nationally.
Shortlisted for Specsavers National Book Awards: Magic 105.4 Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2013 and Waterstones Book of the Year 2012.
"'Garfield has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight.' (Iain Finlayson, Times) 'Simon Garfield's new book is a rollicking sweep through map history, packed with curiosities and written with verve... a great book.' (Mark Wilson, Independent on Sunday) 'Garfield allows his varied, expertly researched stories to speak for themselves, and in so doing helps us see that there are fewer things in life more useful, rewarding and beautiful than a map that does what it's supposed to.' (David Clack, Daily Telegraph) 'Garfield's genial prose twinkles with the delight of discovery' (Tom Hawker, Wanderlust)"
Simon Garfield is the author of more than a dozen acclaimed books of non-fiction, including the international bestseller, Just My Type: A Book About Fonts, and a trilogy of edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive, which includes the bestselling Our Hidden Lives. He lives in London and St Ives, with old maps lining the walls.