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The first definitive reference guide to the vast subject of travel literature

Jennifer Speake, Editor

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Presenting a broad overview of travel writing, from classical antiquity to the present, Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia offers a multidisciplinary and multicultural guide to this growing area of study. With over 300 contributors from 35 countries, this set represents the global scope and interest in the history of travel writing, providing the first reference resource for this body of literature.

Readers will encounter a remarkable diversity of topics and a host of useful reference tools. More than 600 alphabetically arranged entries—ranging in length from 1,000 to 5,000 words—each include an essay analyzing current thinking about a particular subject, as well as a thorough bibliography of source material that gives students and researchers a starting point for further study. A comprehensive index enables readers to easily pursue topics and people throughout the encyclopedia. In addition, extensive annotations for each article are available online, offering users helpful commentary on a vast selection of related works.

Over 230 illustrations have been carefully selected to show how travel literature publishers since the Middle Ages have tried to make their books, brochures, leaflets, and guides appealing to readers by using images that reveal the unique historical and cultural perspectives of societies coming into contact with unfamiliar regions and peoples.

Travel writing has documented a number of cultural issues throughout history and in our current era of globalization. This definitive work provides the first signposts for navigating this vast field. Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia is a valuable resource for teachers and students of literature, geography, history, and social sciences, as well as any general reader with an interest in this fascinating subject.

  • A multidisciplinary and multicultural resource containing over 600 entries on all aspects of travel writing

  • Written by nearly 300 contributors from 35 countries around the world

  • Articles explore individual writers, countries and regions, methods of transportation, types of journey, and genres and themes

  • Over 230 illustrations

  • Comprehensive index and bibliographies allow users to easily pursue more in-depth research on a particular subject

  • Extensive online annotations provide additional commentary and direct readers toward further study

Jennifer Speake is a reference editor whose other recent publications include the Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases and the Oxford Dictionary of Idioms.


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A Fitzroy Dearborn reference work, now published by Routledge


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