The Armchair Traveler's Guide to Invented Towns and Countries

Books featuring the name of a fictional city, village, county or country in their title (i.e., not merely as their setting).

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28

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4.17 avg rating — 433,660 ratings
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30

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31

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32

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33

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34

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35

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36

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37

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41

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42

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43

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44

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45

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46

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47

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48

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49

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50

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50

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52

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52

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55

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56

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58

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62

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63

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64

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68

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69

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69

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69

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69

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69

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74

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173 books · 58 voters · list created November 7th, 2009 by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (votes) .
10 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 545 books
512 friends
Bettie 15590 books
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Mir 12893 books
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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3230 books
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Thom 6023 books
306 friends
Phillip 4741 books
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Greyweather 2660 books
72 friends
Reshma 607 books
35 friends

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Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Mir (new)

Mir Isn't Wessex an area of Southwest England?


message 2: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Nov 07, 2009 12:05PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) In Roman times and through the Norman Conquest, Wessex used to be the area now covered, essentially, by the counties of Devon, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Berkshire and Hampshire. In 1066, Wessex was conquered and incorporated into Norman Britain. Thomas Hardy resurrected its name when he created the world of his novels, and renamed the counties mentioned above "Lower," "Mid," "South," "Outer," "North" and "Upper Wessex," respectively, as well as renaming the area's major cities ("Casterbridge," for example, is equivalent to Dorchester).

Thus, the title of Thomas Hardy's short story collection "Wessex Tales" refers to stories set in his fictional Wessex -- just as George Eliot's "Middlemarch" is set in a fictional copy of Coventry, and Hardy's own "Mayor of Casterbridge" is set in a fictional copy of Dorchester.


message 3: by Mir (new)

Mir Oh, interesting. Is there any "alternative history" aspect to these stories?


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) No -- Hardy just picked the name "Wessex" because it once used to be a comprehensive reference precisely for the area he wanted to write about (and where he himself lived). In fact, his descriptions of the various fictional "Wessex" locations are modeled so closely on the corresponding real places that people, at the time, wondered why he had ever bothered to rename them in the first place ... By now, his books have long become, arguably, THE quintessential literature on that part of England. Even if you go there now, you'll still be able to easily recognize the settings of his novels. (Then again, these days tourism also provides a pretty strong incentive in and of itself to essentially keep that image in place ... I think just about the only place in England that is going to even greater lengths to build on a certain literary legacy and the popular image connected with it is Stratford-upon-Avon!!)


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl What a strange edition of Silas Marner.

"This radio dramatization of Silas Marner conveys key lessons about idolatry, forgiveness and the value of human relationships. Like all Focus on the Family Radio Theatre productions, Silas Marner will delight your family with its biblical message, uplifting values, extraordinary acting and dynamic orchestration."



Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) But at least it lists the book's subtitle -- with the word "Ravenloe" in it! :) Most editions are just titled "Silas Marner."


message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I added The Siege of Krishnapur but I'm not sure it's appropriate. There are several towns/cities in India called Krishnapur, however the novel is based on the Siege of Lucknow which was a real siege in the real city of Lucknow. So I guess Krishnapur is invented in that sense. Yet also real. ?


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