'The illustrations are fabulous evocations of places their makers could see only in their mind's-eyes ... Eco's book is a reminder that writers and readers once travelled widely and magnificently, without ever leaving their homes or their heads' Ben Macintyre, The Times
From the Inside Flap
In the tradition of On Beauty, On Ugliness and The Infinity of Lists, Umberto Eco presents an enthralling and erudite illustrated tour of the fabled places that have awed and eluded us through the ages. From the epic poems of Homer to contemporary science fiction, from the Holy Scriptures to modern mythology and fairy tale, literature and art are full of illusory places we have at some time believed are real, and onto which we have projected our dreams, ideals and fears. Umberto Eco leads us on an illuminating journey through these legendary lands - Atlantis, Thule and Hyperborea, the Earth's interior and the Land of Cockaigne - and explores utopias and dystopias where our imagination can confront concepts that are too incredible, or too challenging, for our limited real world. In The Book of Legendary Lands the author's text is accompanied by several hundred carefully assembled works of art and literature; the result is a beautifully illustrated volume with broad and enduring appeal.