New etymological guide Around the World in 80 Words by Paul Anthony Jones takes the reader on a circumnavigation of the English language, tracing the meanings and histories of eighty words derived from world place names. To whet your globetrotting appetite, here are ten of the book’s most fascinating entries …
I’m not a practical man: simple DIY tasks fox me, I don’t enjoy ladders, electricity makes me jumpy. I’ll call for technical help when my printer runs low on toner. I have a handyman on speed-dial, a capable wife, and a nearby younger brother for whom these tasks hold no terrors. But for all this I find that one science, or sort of science, Geography, is my friend. It’s not all Geography – specifically it’s a sense of place. My sense of direction, if not exactly unerring, is well attuned to the compass points. I know where I am, and mostly, where I’m going. I love Ordnance Survey maps, whatever their scale, not only for their solid reliable practicality, but for the way they situate me so completely in any landscape, and for their often remarked-upon beauty. I can spread a map on the floor and pore over it for hours, bum aloft, tracing footpaths and rivers, marvelling over contour lines marking hills and steep sided valleys, wondering over derivations of village names, imagining the lost settlements marked in that ghostly gothic script. In short, I know my way around, and I am glad of it.
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of DK Eyewitness Travel Guides and the most in-depth redesign since the series launched in 1993; based on extensive global consumer research, these beautifully practical new books have been designed with the consumer in mind. Read More New DK Eyewitness Travel Guides launched
Alev Scott’s new book Ottoman Odyssey: Travels through a Lost Empire takes us through 12 countries of the former Ottoman Empire and examines 800 years of Ottoman rule that brought them together, the 20th Century events that tore them apart and what is coming next. Ahead of Alev’s Migration and identity at the edge of Europe and beyond event here at Stanfords with Daniel Trilling on the 2nd October, she has written about her experience at the annual re-enactment of the Armata off the Peloponnesian coast: Read More The Armata Re-enactment by Alev Scott
Artist and cartographer Adam Dant surveys London’s past, present and future with his beautiful, witty and subversive cartographic pieces. His astonishing maps offer a compelling view of history, lore, language and life in the capital and beyond.
To celebrate the launch of ‘Maps of London & Beyond’ we asked Adam Dant to give us Five examples of how the map of London isn’t always as it first appears. Read More Five examples of how the map of London isn’t always as it first appears
Beastly Journeys: Unusual Tales of Travel With Animals is a new anthology from Bradt focusing on true stories about travelling with animals. Writers include David Attenborough, Dervla Murphy, Gerald Durrell and Dom Tullet (the winner of last year’s Edward Stanford Travel Writers Awards New Travel Writer) to name a few. To celebrate its launch, we have a couple of the stories from the book for you to read online. Here is Jack Sparrow by Rachel A Davis.
Read More Beastly Journeys: Unusual Tales of Travel With Animals. Jack Sparrow by Rachel A Davis
To coincide with the release of their new book The Red Atlas John Davies and Alex Kent explain why the many thousands of maps secretly produced by the Soviet Union are so fascinating… Read More 5 Reasons why Soviet Maps are Amazing by John Davies and Alexander J. Kent
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are perhaps best known for the noisy, messy physics and chemistry experiments, performed to demonstrate aspects of cutting edge-science in front of an eager, young audience. In years when the lecturer’s chosen subject is biology – in particular the science of the natural world – these demonstrations often take on a distinctly wilder tone, as menageries of living animals are welcomed into the RI’s world famous lecture theatre.
I delved into the last century of the RI’s biological Christmas Lectures for my book 11 Explorations into Life on Earth, and here’s my pick of the most delightful, intriguing and tricky animal assistants. Read More 5 top animal guests on the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures, by Helen Scales
We were lucky enough to have Leon McCarron at Stanfords last week talking about his new book The Land Beyond. There are many reasons why it might seem unwise to walk, mostly alone, through the Middle East. That, in part, is exactly why Leon McCarron did it. Read More NEW BOOK: ‘The Land Beyond’ by Leon McCarron
Colin Stuart introduces his joyous new book 13 Journeys Through Space and Time – Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution – a perfect Christmas gift for curious minds.