Is Jack Vance hoaxing me? Does "The Lonton Times Historical Atlas" exist?
December 22, 2007 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Is there such a book as "The London Times Historical Atlas"? Google and Amazon are clueless.

In an interview published in 1986, Jack Vance stated that "the best way to teach someone to be a writer is to force them to read twenty books I would set out for them": he then names, in addition to Wodehouse and Baum, Cervantes's Don Quixote, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Richard Adams's Watership Down and The London Times Historical Atlas ("my favourite book - I don't know of anything more clutching for the imagination"). -- Wikipedia [emphasis added]
posted by grumblebee to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
First result on google for "The London Times Historical Atlas"

Is that not it?
posted by fire&wings at 9:53 AM on December 22, 2007

Could be this or this. The Times isn't called "The London Times" in the UK.
posted by fire&wings at 9:56 AM on December 22, 2007

There is also the "The Times Atlas of World History", which I have a copy of.
posted by oclipa at 10:07 AM on December 22, 2007

He's citing authors in his list, so I imagined an apostrophe should be in there (viz., the London Times' Historical Atlas). In any case, I think it's a safe bet that he's referring to "The Times Atlas of World History," first published in 1978.
posted by aiko at 10:39 AM on December 22, 2007

Yeah, I'm sure it's The Times Atlas of World History, which is a superb book. I got the first edition as soon as it came out, and currently use the fifth—which, now that I look at it, is actually called The Hammond Atlas of World History. I guess the Times stopped sponsoring it. Anyway, it's one of the most educational and enjoyable books I know.
posted by languagehat at 11:24 AM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite books on my bookshelf. I have the fourth edition and the spine says "Hammond" and then "The Times Atlas of World History".
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 12:41 PM on December 22, 2007

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