Wyatt, John Books

Dr. John Wyatt holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southampton.

Use of Imaginary, Historical and Actual Maps in Literature: How British and Irish Authors Created Imaginary Worlds to Tell Their Stories ( Defoe, Swift, Wordsworth, Kipling, Joyce, Tolkien)
2013 0-7734-4547-1
In this text, the author highlights unrecorded discoveries about how maps and literature are associated. Not only do maps give us a tool by which to understand a physical reality as it actually exists, but maps can support the realm of literary fiction – such as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or Stevenson’s Treasure Island. There are also maps that try to catch a certain historical moment like an urban space at a particular time period, or a rural environment. While maps had historically guided travel, in literature they provide an escape mechanism that transports the audience to an unfamiliar place. Maps can create images that color the contours of the reader’s imagination, thereby fortifying the creativity of the story being told. Is there a verisimilitude where the authors are trying to realistically depict a scene as it actually exists, or does the story try to create a magical fantasy world conjured up out of thin air? The use of maps gives an array of options, and the story can hinge on what kind of setting the author creates through their employment.