100 books like The Eternal City

By Jessica Maier,

Here are 100 books that The Eternal City fans have personally recommended if you like The Eternal City. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A History of America in 100 Maps

Jeremy Black Author Of Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past

From my list on for people who love maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian fascinated with maps and geography, I have produced historical atlases on the world, Britain, war, cities, naval history, fortifications, and World War Two, as well as books on geopolitics and maps. I am an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and of Policy Exchange.

Jeremy's book list on for people who love maps

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

An excellent example of the British Library’s History … in 100 Maps series, this book, by an expert, on the American geopolitical imagination, combines a first-rate text with instructive maps. Handsomely produced, it is good value.

By Susan Schulten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of America in 100 Maps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout its history, America has been defined through maps. Whether made for military strategy or urban reform, to encourage settlement or to investigate disease, maps invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such they offer unrivaled windows onto the past.
 
In this book Susan Schulten uses maps to explore five centuries of American history, from the voyages of European discovery to the digital age. With stunning visual clarity, A History of America in 100 Maps showcases the power…


Book cover of William Birchynshaw's Map of Exeter, 1743

Jeremy Black Author Of Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past

From my list on for people who love maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian fascinated with maps and geography, I have produced historical atlases on the world, Britain, war, cities, naval history, fortifications, and World War Two, as well as books on geopolitics and maps. I am an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and of Policy Exchange.

Jeremy's book list on for people who love maps

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

The discovery of hitherto unknown maps is a great treat and this edition uses one to show the development of urban mapping. Well-anchored in the locality, this book is also of much wider value.

By Richard Oliver, Todd Gray, Roger Kain

Why should I read it?

1 author picked William Birchynshaw's Map of Exeter, 1743 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This major re-examination of the history of map-making in Exeter, the historic county town of Devon, follows from the recent discovery of a 'new' Georgian town map of the city. That map, by William Birchynshaw (a man not known tohave produced any other), is reproduced in facsimile, along with nearly two dozen other maps from 1587 through to 1949. They are prefaced by an introduction which places the new discovery within the context of four centuries of map-making, demonstrating how Birchynshaw owed a debt both to John Hooker's map of 1587 and to that by Ichabod Fairlove of 1709; and…


Book cover of Atlas: A World of Maps from the British Library

Jeremy Black Author Of Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past

From my list on for people who love maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian fascinated with maps and geography, I have produced historical atlases on the world, Britain, war, cities, naval history, fortifications, and World War Two, as well as books on geopolitics and maps. I am an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and of Policy Exchange.

Jeremy's book list on for people who love maps

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

Wide-ranging, high-production values, a good balance of maps and text, and excellent value for money. Includes many different types of map not least those of fantasy worlds.

By Tom Harper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Atlas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The British Library's map collection is the national cartographic collection of Britain and numbers around four million maps dating from 15 CE to 2017 CE. These include road maps drawn for 13th century pilgrims and sea charts for 17th-century pirates. They include the first printed map to show the Americas and the last to show English-controlled Calais. They include the world's biggest and smallest atlases. They include maps for kings and queens, popes, ministers, schoolchildren, soldiers, tourists. There are maps which changed the world. As well as comprehensively showcasing the varied and surprising treasures of the British Library's "banquet of…


Book cover of Cartography in the Twentieth Century

Jeremy Black Author Of Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past

From my list on for people who love maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian fascinated with maps and geography, I have produced historical atlases on the world, Britain, war, cities, naval history, fortifications, and World War Two, as well as books on geopolitics and maps. I am an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and of Policy Exchange.

Jeremy's book list on for people who love maps

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

A blockbuster of a reference work, but also a vital tool for all those interested the history of maps and mapping. Part of a series that is at once majestic, handsome, and full of the detailed knowledge of scholarship.

By Mark Monmonier (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cartography in the Twentieth Century as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For more than thirty years, the History of Cartography Project has charted the course for scholarship on cartography, bringing together research from a variety of disciplines on the creation, dissemination, and use of maps. Volume 6, Cartography in the Twentieth Century, continues this tradition with a groundbreaking survey of the century just ended and a new full-color, encyclopedic format. The twentieth century is a pivotal period in map history. The transition from paper to digital formats led to previously unimaginable dynamic and interactive maps. Geographic information systems radically altered cartographic institutions and reduced the skill required to create maps. Satellite…


Book cover of How to Lie with Maps

Roberto Casati Author Of The Cognitive Life of Maps

From my list on navigating the age of maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have obsessed with maps my whole life, but I guess the main drive for studying them is my enjoyment of outdoor spaces, as a hiker, a mountaineer, and as a sailor: always with a paper map at hand. If you use GPS (a wonderful innovation) you will not only lose some of your precious orientation abilities but above all you will look less at the environment around you. I feel that paper maps do a great favor to my brain and to my enjoyment of places. The books below are a great tribute to maps; they helped me understand them better, and this affected the way I use them.

Roberto's book list on navigating the age of maps

Roberto Casati Why did Roberto love this book?

Maps lie. In the standard visualization you have on Google Maps, for instance, Greenland is shown as bigger than the whole South American continent, while it is, in fact, smaller than Argentina.

Monmonier did an incredible job unpacking the many surprising ways in which maps lie. My favorite case is the sneaky introduction, by publishing houses, of fake towns in US road maps to track plagiarists (as plagiarists just copy, they do not care about checking). There are so many fun examples in this profound book. 

By Mark Monmonier,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked How to Lie with Maps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant classic when first published in 1991, How to Lie with Maps revealed how the choices mapmakers make--consciously or unconsciously--mean that every map inevitably presents only one of many possible stories about the places it depicts. The principles Mark Monmonier outlined back then remain true today, despite significant technological changes in the making and use of maps. The introduction and spread of digital maps and mapping software, however, have added new wrinkles to the ever-evolving landscape of modern mapmaking. Fully updated for the digital age, this new edition of How to Lie with Maps examines the myriad ways that…


Book cover of The Illustrated Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Georgia Irby Author Of Conceptions of the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity

From my list on how to read maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I still remember the day I discovered the family atlas (I must have about five; it then lived in my room, and my dad was probably irked, but too kind and encouraging to show it). Since then, I have been mesmerized by maps. How lucky I am to turn an early passion into a focus of research and teaching (I am a Classicist and Historian of Ancient Science). My publications include studies of narrative maps in Greco-Roman literature (they too were mesmerized by maps). You can find maps in the most unexpected places!

Georgia's book list on how to read maps

Georgia Irby Why did Georgia love this book?

2500 years ago, Pytheas, a clever Greek explorer, figured out latitude.

While there has always been a concept of longitude, it proved impossible to pinpoint, until... Sobel and Andrewes engagingly unravel the cipher of longitude that was cracked by the plucky John Harrison (he created the right tool, a clock that kept accurate time at sea: why is this important? Read the book!).

Convinced that the solution could only be astronomical, the scientific community was not amused. It was a dramatic conflict between the skeptical Board of Longitude (probably also jealous) and the skilled workaday carpenter-turned-clockmaker whose solution to navigation’s oldest puzzle was banausic.

In the end, our hero, the underdog, prevails (even if it took 250 years for Harrison to receive the respect he so richly deserved and earned).

By Dava Sobel, William J.H. Andrewes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Illustrated Longitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Illustrated Longitude recounts in words and images the epic quest to solve the greatest scientific problem of the eighteenth and three prior centuries: determining how a captain could pinpoint his ship's location at sea. All too often throughout the ages of exploration, voyages ended in disaster when crew and cargo were either lost at sea or destroyed upon the rocks of an unexpected landfall. Thousands of lives and the fortunes of nations hung on a resolution to the longitude problem. To encourage a solution, governments established prizes for anyone whose method or device proved successful. The largest reward of…


Book cover of Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey

Georgia Irby Author Of Conceptions of the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity

From my list on how to read maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I still remember the day I discovered the family atlas (I must have about five; it then lived in my room, and my dad was probably irked, but too kind and encouraging to show it). Since then, I have been mesmerized by maps. How lucky I am to turn an early passion into a focus of research and teaching (I am a Classicist and Historian of Ancient Science). My publications include studies of narrative maps in Greco-Roman literature (they too were mesmerized by maps). You can find maps in the most unexpected places!

Georgia's book list on how to read maps

Georgia Irby Why did Georgia love this book?

To my mind, the British Ordnance Survey Maps are the gold standard: these super-detailed maps are my most highly treasured souvenirs of a research trip in my graduate school days.

From the map I recognized every hillock and bend in the road I passed on my Hadrian’s Wall hike. With an Ordnance Survey Map, you know exactly where you are in the UK. Hewitt nimbly relates that story, weaving together history and science, nationalism, and cartography.

Besides this being an important and underappreciated slice of cartographic history, the book is simply a joy to read. When I look at my Ordnance Survey Maps now, I don’t just see marks on a two-dimensional surface, I see the faces of those creative and visionary men and recognize their Herculean efforts. 

By Rachel Hewitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Map of a Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A gripping story about the personalities who initiated the mapping of Britain and their extraordinary skill and endurance' Max Hastings, Sunday Times

The Ordnance Survey is a much beloved British institution, but in our modern map-obsessed world how much do we know about its curious origins and extraordinary challenges? Here at last is the remarkable story of the creation of the first complete, accurate, affordable map of the British Isles. What it reveals is a colourful and engrossing secret history of the Ordnance Survey and the obsessive and ambitious men who dreamt and delivered it.

The Ordnance Survey's story is…


Book cover of Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps

Georgia Irby Author Of Conceptions of the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity

From my list on how to read maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I still remember the day I discovered the family atlas (I must have about five; it then lived in my room, and my dad was probably irked, but too kind and encouraging to show it). Since then, I have been mesmerized by maps. How lucky I am to turn an early passion into a focus of research and teaching (I am a Classicist and Historian of Ancient Science). My publications include studies of narrative maps in Greco-Roman literature (they too were mesmerized by maps). You can find maps in the most unexpected places!

Georgia's book list on how to read maps

Georgia Irby Why did Georgia love this book?

Finally, you can’t talk about maps and not talk about sea monsters.

Want to buy a sea monster? Van Duzer tells you how! Given my professional (and personal) interest in cartography, water, sailing, and animals, this book absolutely had to appear on my “Best Books” list. It is very richly illustrated (115 color images), but is not simply a picture book.

Van Duzer’s narrative is engaging and informative. He explores terrifying and whimsical marine creatures that peopled Medieval and Renaissance waters (many are imaginary; some are more or less based on actual sea animals). And he situates them within the broader context of the individual maps, their impact, and marine biology.

Van Duzer thus helps his audience read European Medieval and Renaissance Maps more fully and richly. 

By Chet van Duzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sea monsters on medieval and Renaissance maps, whether swimming vigorously, gambolling amid the waves, attacking ships, or simply displaying themselves for our appreciation, are one of the most visually engaging elements on these maps, and yet they have never been carefully studied. The subject is important not only in the history of cartography, art, and zoological illustration, but also in the history of the geography of the 'marvellous' and of western conceptions of the ocean. Moreover, the sea monsters depicted on maps can supply important insights into the sources, influences, and methods of the cartographers who drew or painted…


Book cover of Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human: New Worlds, Maps and Monsters

Asa Simon Mittman Author Of The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous

From my list on explaining the history of monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I rewatched Star Wars until I wore out my VHS tape. I read every Dragonlance novel. I played a bit of D&D. When I got to college, I finally was allowed work on things that interested me. I found Art History, dove into Medieval Studies, and, in grad school, got serious about monsters. Monster Studies didn’t exist, but books were out (especially by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen), and my advisor encouraged me to follow my passions. My 15-year-old self would be astonished to learn that I’d get to read monster books, study monster art, and watch monster movies as a job!

Asa's book list on explaining the history of monsters

Asa Simon Mittman Why did Asa love this book?

This is a brilliant, wide-ranging, deeply-sourced study of the dynamics that underpinned and justified early modern colonization of the Americas. Mandeville’s Book of Marvels and Travels is the prehistory of the horrors of colonization; the sources at the heart of Davies’s study are colonization’s architecture: maps, book illustrations, freestanding prints, published texts, letters, journals, and on. With nuance and care, Davies rewrites the intellectual history of this period, confronting the dehumanizing, demonizing, monsterizing visual and textual rhetoric of colonial enterprises (which directly contributed to large-scale violence), but also looking carefully at nuances, differences, and shifts in this rhetoric over the course of the Renaissance.

By Surekha Davies,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Giants, cannibals and other monsters were a regular feature of Renaissance illustrated maps, inhabiting the Americas alongside other indigenous peoples. In a new approach to views of distant peoples, Surekha Davies analyzes this archive alongside prints, costume books and geographical writing. Using sources from Iberia, France, the German lands, the Low Countries, Italy and England, Davies argues that mapmakers and viewers saw these maps as careful syntheses that enabled viewers to compare different peoples. In an age when scholars, missionaries, native peoples and colonial officials debated whether New World inhabitants could - or should - be converted or enslaved, maps…


Book cover of Atlas of the Bible

Jeanne Lyet Gassman Author Of Blood of a Stone

From my list on the life and times in Roman Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an avid reader of historical fiction since I was very young, and I love learning about the life and times of different periods of history. One might describe me as a "research junkie." My desire to know more about the everyday lives of my historical characters has taken me on many wonderful adventures, and my personal library is full of books I use for research. I write fiction, creative nonfiction, and novels. I am currently completing a new novel about a family of downwinders, people who contracted cancer from government-sanctioned radioactive fallout from the atomic bomb tests in Nevada during the 1950s and 1960s.

Jeanne's book list on the life and times in Roman Palestine

Jeanne Lyet Gassman Why did Jeanne love this book?

Part of my job when writing historical fiction is to know the "lay of the land." That means understanding regional maps, the geography, the climate, and the flora and fauna of the era and location of my story. I turned to this book so often that some of the pages are falling out. Beautifully illustrated with color photos, maps, and drawings, this book describes the history and main features of twelve main geographical regions in the Holy Land and connects them to major events in the Old and New Testaments. It's an accessible resource that functions more as a cultural atlas than simply as a map atlas.

By John Rogerson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Atlas of the Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first atlas of the Bible to treat its subject geographically rather than historically, this unique work features the main biblical sites, illustrated with photographs and colour maps. The book opens with a description of the Bible, explains how it came to be composed and how it has been transmitted to us through medieval manuscript copies and modern translations. The second section of the text provides an outline of the historical background of the Bible, from the time of Abraham to the close of the New Testament period. The third and principal section discusses the main geographical regions of the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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