From the Trade Paperback edition.
Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key Westby Shannon Mckenna Schmidt, Matthew Pearl (Foreword by), Joni Rendon
It’s often said that a good book takes us somewhere we’ve never been before, and here’s the proof: a book-lover’s Baedeker to more than 500 literary locales across the United States and Europe. Novel Destinations invites readers to follow in the footsteps of much-loved authors, discover the scenes that sparked their imaginations, glimpse the lives they led, and share a bit of the experiences they transformed so eloquently into print. If you’re looking to indulge in literary adventure, you’ll find all the inspiration and information you need here, along with behind-the-scenes stories such as these:
After Ernest Hemingway survived two near-fatal plane crashes during an African safari, he perused his obituaries and sipped champagne on a canal-side terrace in Venice.
Washington Irving's wisteria-draped cottage in the Hudson Valley was once occupied by members of the Van Tassel family, immortalized in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
A mysterious incident at a stone tower near Dublin made such a vivid impression on James Joyce that he drew on it for the opening scene of Ulysses.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle consulted on the mystery of Agatha Christie's 1926 disappearance before she resurfaced under an assumed name in northern England.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables was inspired by a seaside manse in Salem, Massachusetts, infamous witch trials in which his ancestor played a role.
This guidebook by two contributors to National Geographic Traveller is for the serious bookworm, covering U.S. and European literary locations and events. It's divided into two sections; first is "Travel by the Book," listing houses, museums, hotels, restaurants, and cafés that have either hosted literary lions or inspired them. This section also includes literary festivals, walking and other tours, and even a list of writer's gravesites. The arrangement can be a bit confusing, since some entries focus on a particular author, such as "Twain Slept Here (And You Can Too!)," while others are geographically themed, e.g., "Literary Houses on the Prairie." The second section, "Journeys Between the Pages," is more focused. Ten cities inextricably connected to ten writers, e.g., Kafka's Prague, Joyce's Dublin, and of course those in the subtitle, are covered in detail. One shortcoming of this guide is that the same famous authors appear frequently throughout the entire book, popping up in almost every chapter of the first section and in sidebars and references. An author index (not seen) should help readers find the sections with references to their favorites, assuming their favorites are Austen, Hemingway, Shakespeare, or Joyce, but fans of Willa Cather, John Milton, or Tennessee Williams, let alone many other notable writers, will find less here to pique their interest. Much of this information is available from other sources; having it gathered in one book will please devoted readers, whether travelers or not. Recommended for public libraries.
- National Geographic Society
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Shannon McKenna Schmidt’s writing has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, New Jersey Monthly, Arrive, and other publications, and she is a regular contributor to Shelf Awareness and to Bookreporter.com. She has held positions in marketing and promotions at several publishing houses, most recently Simon & Schuster. Shannon lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Joni Rendon’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Continental, Pages, BookPage, The Writer, and on Bookreporter.com. She has held various marketing and editorial positions in the book publishing industry, most recently at Hyperion Books. Currently, she resides in London.
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