The Island Review’s contributing editor Malachy Tallack has just published his second book, telling the stories of two dozen islands once believed to be real but no longer on the map.
The Un-Discovered Islands begins with mythical places, like the Isles of the Blessed, a kind of paradise on earth to which the chosen few would travel after death. Such legendary lands were known among coastal cultures the world over.
But there are many non-existent islands that appeared not just in myths but on maps. They could be found from the earliest days of modern cartography – when places such as Thule and the Island of Seven Cities appeared on charts of the Atlantic – right up to the twenty-first century, with the outline of one phantom island still present on Google Earth even today.
Some of these lands were mistakes made by sailors – the result of poor navigation, poor weather conditions or optical illusions. Others were deliberate frauds, often invented and named to flatter rich people who might sponsor further exploration. We’ve featured a few of these places on the site before, including Crocker Land, a fake island invented by explorer Robert Peary in the early twentieth century.
The Un-Discovered Islands includes beautiful full-colour illustrations by Katie Scott, whose previous books include Animalium and Botanicum, and who has worked with the New York Times and the BBC. You can see some of her illustrations in this introductory video.
To win a copy of The Un-Discovered Islands, answer this one simple question:
Which island is Malachy Tallack from?
Send your answer by email with the subject line The Un-Discovered Islands. Good luck!
Deadline for entries is midnight on Monday 14 November 2016. The winner will be announced the following day. Good luck.