In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain, books of travel and exploration were much more than simply the printed experiences of intrepid authors. They were works of both artistry and industry—products of the complex, and often contested, relationships between authors and editors, publishers and printers. These books captivated the reading public and played a vital role in creating new geographical truths. In an age of global wonder and of expanding empires, there was no publisher more renowned for its travel books than the House of John Murray.
Drawing on detailed examination of the John Murray Archive of manuscripts, images, and the firm’s correspondence with its many authors—a list that included such illustrious explorers and scientists as Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell, and literary giants like Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott—Travels into Print considers how journeys of exploration became published accounts and how travelers sought to demonstrate the faithfulness of their written testimony and to secure their personal credibility. This fascinating study in historical geography and book history takes modern readers on a journey into the nature of exploration, the production of authority in published travel narratives, and the creation of geographical authorship—a journey bound together by the unifying force of a world-leading publisher.
About the author
Innes M. Keighren is a senior lecturer in human geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Bringing Geography to Book: Ellen Semple and the Reception of Geographical Knowledge. Charles W. J. Withers is the Ogilvie Professor of Geography at the University of Edinburgh and the first Geographer Royal for Scotland in 118 years. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including Placing the Enlightenment: Thinking Geographically about the Age of Reason. Bill Bell is professor of bibliography at Cardiff University. He is the general editor of the four-volume Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland and editor of The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society.
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