My favourite literary maps

Some of us are familiar with the map of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings series. How often have you turned to this map to follow along the journeys of Sam and Frodo? 

Map of Middle Earth

From my bookshelf

I've had this Unwin Paperbacks trilogy since 1979, and I noticed they had two double-page spreads in addition to the complete map to see the details.

And as I carefully flipped through the yellowing pages, I saw two more maps of specific regions to better show the geography of the story. It's been a while since I read these, but I do remember consulting the maps often.

Map of the Shire

Whether you look at maps regularly or you flip past them as you start the book, these maps illustrate the spatial setting of the story.

One of my favourite maps is from Time of Gifts, also one of my favourite books.

Map from Time of Gifts

As I browsed my library, I noticed that my shelves are filled with tales of travels - many I still have from childhood.

my fiction bookshelf

I love Robert Louis Stevenson stories, and as I perused the books I found this map in Treasure Island:

Treasure Island map

Swiss Family Robinson and Kidnapped don't have maps (at least these versions don't), but as a child I most likely consulted an atlas as I read books without maps. We had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica that included a large, beautiful atlas.

Personal Projects

Another of my favourite books, again by Robert Louis Stevenson, is "Travels with a Donkey". It doesn't have a map, so that's on my personal to-do list. :-)

Years ago I found a book at a garage sale with an intriguing title, "Curious Life for a Lady: The Story of Isabella Bird" by Pat Barr. I then read all of Isabella Bird's books about her travels, and there are illustrations, but no maps - at least in the editions I read. 

Based on my bookshelf, my love of travel tales, and my love of maps, I have quite a few personal map projects to work on!

Test your knowledge

Some book maps are iconic, like the maps of Treasure Island or Middle Earth. If you love book maps, here are some quizzes to see if you can identify the book from the map:


Over a third of my clients have been authors, and I love creating maps to help tell their stories. Sometimes the maps are for academic works, but often they show important places and travels in the author's life.

I hope you've enjoyed following along as I peruse my library. If you want to chat about maps, feel free to reach out.

Contact me

Learn more about maps for books, or contact me today to chat about how maps can help your readers understand your story.

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