On The Map

On The Map : Why the world looks the way it does

3.66 (3,249 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


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.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 468 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 33mm | 425g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 60 ills
  • 1846685109
  • 9781846685101
  • 37,239

Review Text

Garfield has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight. The Times
show more

Review quote

Garfield has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight. * The Times * A rollicking sweep through map history, packed with curiosities and written with verve * 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 * Daily Telegraph * Garfield's genial prose twinkles with the delight of discovery -- Tom Hawker * Wanderlust * There couldn't be anyone better to write about our love of maps than Simon Garfield, who is a master at unearthing strange facts and mixing them with a lively personal narrative . . . fascinating -- Giles Foden * Conde Nast Traveller * A stunning celebration of the cartographic. As one of the UK's leading contemporary polymaths, Garfield's always a joy to read for his gossamer-light show of rigorous learning, his shed-dweller precision in research and his infectious glee in passing on the golden nugget of fact. -- Robert Bound * Monocle * He takes us on a fascinating voyage . . . and is a lively companion for the journey. -- Douglas Osler * Scotsman * He hops around the world, ancient and modern, with glee, dispensing information, both learned and chatty. On the Map is informative and entertaining, and good fun . . . fascinating. -- John S Doyle * Irish Times * Beguiling ... Garfield is like the schoolteacher who made the time fly, a one-man Blue Peter team for intelligent adults, a great British explainer. -- Andrew Martin * Observer * Utterly charming and engrossing ... A thoroughly enjoyable guide to guides -- Sally Morris * Daily Mail * Simon Garfield has a gift for really making us think about things ... Wonderful -- William Leith * Evening Standard * Panoramic, erudite and enjoyable * Independent *
show more

About Simon Garfield

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.
show more

Rating details

3,249 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 18% (576)
4 41% (1,331)
3 32% (1,052)
2 8% (244)
1 1% (46)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X