Reviews

Review: Literary Places by Sarah Baxter

Title: Literary Places
Author: Sarah Baxter
Type: Art, Literature
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: White Lion Publishing
Date published: March 5th, 2019
Format: digital
Page Count: 144
Rating: 5/5
Bringing together engaging text and stunning hand-drawn illustrations, Inspired Traveller’s Guide: Literary Placestakes readers on an enlightening journey through the key locations of literature’s best and brightest authors, movements and moments. Explore the plains of La Mancha with Don Quixote, take a Holden Caulfield tour of Central Park, or roam the Yorkshire moors with Cathy and Heathcliff.
Author Sarah Baxter explores literary locations from around the globe, including vibrant urban centres, tranquil creative sanctuaries and places that inspired classic stories. The evocative text outlines each location’s history and culture, combined with biographies of the authors or stories from the literary works that make the place significant.
line-break*** Thank you Netgalley and White Lion Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. ***I think I’m always guilty of browsing through NetGalley during my free time, admiring book covers, analyzing synopses, and looking for a unique read. It only seemed right that I would pick up a book about books.

I think I fell in love with this book from the very get-go. It details places around the world that are featured in literary masterpieces. The book has a wonderful format with colorful and vivid drawings accompanied by writing.

An excerpt about Florence, my favourite city

The writing is absolutely stunning. What the pictures fail to show, the descriptions make up in sight, sound, and smell. While Sarah Baxter sets you up with the rich history of the setting, she also allows you to follow the story line of the novel.

You learn so much in a compact 144 pages. The book also introduced me to many pieces that I have yet to read and expanded my knowledge on the places I have yet to go. But I am certain that when I make my next trips, it will be so much more enriched knowing the literary value of the places I visit. As a person who loves to travel, I think this might inspire my next venture.

To conclude, here is a small excerpt. Hopefully this will convince you how enthralling it it 🙂

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TURN OVER the page. What – or where – do you see? Perhaps you see city streets or verdant fields, vast mountain ranges or dark, haunted forests, stinking slums or golden temples. A multitude of worlds written into being. Palaces of words, landscapes of letters, towns built of sentences. Whole societies or galaxies constructed from carefully laid conjunctions, stocky nouns, playful verbs; from swirls and curlicues of ink.

Writers build places. Sometimes they conjure make-believe realms, unfettered by rules of sense or science. But sometimes they evoke real ones – destinations you can find on a map. And sometimes they manage to make those real places feel more real than any photo ever could. They render locations large in mere ink, perfectly capturing their sights, sounds, smells and essence, turning a previously blank sheet into a teleporter for the reader’s imagination.

Truly great writers recreate not only locations but also eras and histories. Indeed, via some classic works of literature, a reader can travel both around the world and seemingly back in time: to the plains of medieval Spain, to the squalor of Victorian London, to the horror of apartheid-divided South Africa. The very best writers bring not only the physicality of these destinations to life but also their layers; their nooks and crannies, their politics and their position in the world. In this way, these destinations can come alive for people living in different countries, on different continents, even in different centuries. Not everyone is able to travel. And no one – not yet – can travel in time. So by reading great books anyone, of any nation, is able to ‘journey’ to a totally other period and place.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Literary Places by Sarah Baxter

  1. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this one looks beautiful, both inside and out! I wouldn’t mind wandering the Yorkshire Moors, in search of my Heathcliff 😅

    Liked by 1 person

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