What caused Dickens to leap out of bed one night and walk 30 miles from London to Kent?How did a small town on the Welsh borders become the second-hand bookshop capital of the world?Why did a jellyfish persuade Evelyn Waugh to abandon his suicide attempt in North Wales? A multitude of curious questions are answered in Britain by the Book, a fascinating travelogue with a literary theme, taking in unusual writers' haunts and the surprising places that inspired some of our favourite fictional locations. We'll learn why Thomas Hardy was buried twice, how a librarian in Manchester invented the thesaurus as a means of coping with depression, and why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 during the Second World War. The map of Britain that emerges is one dotted with interesting literary stories and bookish curiosities.
Oliver Tearle is a lecturer in English at Loughborough University and the founder of the popular blog Interesting Literature: A Library of Literary Interestingness. He is the author of two academic books, Bewilderments of Vision: Hallucination and Literature, 1880-1914 and T. E. Hulme and Modernism, as well as the co-editor of Crrritic!. His proudest achievement is coining the word 'bibliosmia' to describe the smell of old books, although his suggested neologism for writer's block, 'colygraphia', is yet to take the world by storm.