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Festivals, Signings & Cake

Festivals, Signings & Cake

So, the eagerly awaited (by its authors, certainly) A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps by Bryars & Harper has now hit the shops, published by the British Library here in the UK and by the University of Chicago Press in the US. Here’s what 100 copies looks like:


You can imagine how much fun I had unpacking those. I suspect that I’m going through the usual run of emotions experienced by new authors, feeling weirdly proprietorial when I see copies of our book face-out in Waterstone’s and Hatchard’s and Stanford’s and checking back to see if we have any online reviews. But absolutely no lurking or worrying of unwary browsers - I’ve heard enough stories from friends in the new book trade! It’s not uncommon, I learn from someone who had better remain nameless, for authors to attempt to give away copies of ‘their’ books on the shop floor. Anyway, our book is now available from all good bookshops, including Bryars & Bryars at 7 Cecil Court. The last few months have been very intensive. This year the London Map Fair became the largest in the world and attracted a record number of exhibitors - almost 2000 in two days. As soon as it was over we started planning the next one, and Pinda and I also set about bringing our two shops together at 7 Cecil Court, now Bryars & Bryars at the sign of the Unicorn. That too has been an incredible amount of work, but thanks to Pinda, Paul and our other friends Ian and Richard, the shop looks amazing. I’ll post some proper pictures soon, but here are a few snaps from the book/shop launch party:


We displayed a few of the maps featured in the book: map-display

It’s not a party without bunting or cake, and our friend Harriet did us proud on the cake front. Our unicorn device was on top:


And then a whole library around the sides. Thanks to my friend Tom for this composite image:


A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps was shelved next to Jilly Cooper’s Rivals… Downstairs, the old Paralos table was groaning under the weight of good things including an enormous homemade ham.


That’s probably enough pictures of food. Back to the book. I had an inkling that my job wasn’t over once I’d submitted the manuscript, but once it was published the job of promotion began in earnest. And fair enough, now that it’s out there I really want people to read it. So Tom and I shared a platform with Jerry Brotton at the Soho Literary Festival:

Tim Bryars Tom Harper & Jerry Brotton Tim Bryars Tom Harper & Jerry Brotton - picture courtesy of Neil Spence


And then it was off to the Cheltenham Literary Festival, where our finely honed double-act was warmly received by an audience of about 500. People really do like maps! A lovely day.


Here we are being interviewed by Joanna Durrant for BBC Radio Gloucester, in the Writers’ Room. Last week Tom and I gave the first of the IES/ABA Book Collecting Seminars at Senate House, and we’ll be speaking at Waterstone’s Piccadilly at 7pm on October 28, and Hatchard’s on November 25, but if you’d like to talk about maps before then, Tom and I are both quite easy to get hold of. To paraphrase the former Bishop of Southwark, it’s what we do… Update: November 8 Delighted to say that we’ve had some excellent press coverage for A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps. Richard Morrison wrote a fabulous two page review in theTimes on November 1: We also had galleries in the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph: November 12, an excellent review by Simon Garfield in the Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine: We’ve also had coverage on Monocle Radio, you can catch me on BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms show, we’ve been in the Saga Magazine and in Family Tree Magazine: as well as in the Sunderland Echo (Tom’s neck of the woods): We are on Frank Jacobs’ Strange Maps blog: Slate Vault has rated us among ‘the most beautiful and intelligent’ coffee table books of 2014: They have started running a series on favourite maps from the book: And the Huffington Post picked up on our Edwardian ‘trip to the Continent’ board game: At the beginning of January I caught my first glimpse of the new Folio Society edition. Here they are side by side - the University of Chicago edition distributed in the US, the Folio Society edition and the British Library’s version: 


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