The Writer’s Journey – Travis Elborough

Published By: White Lion Publishing
Pages: 224
Released On: 18/10/2022

Some truly remarkable works of literature have been inspired by writers spending time away from their typical surroundings. From epic road trips andarduous treks into remote territories to cultural tours and sojourns in the finest hotels, this book explores 35 influential journeys taken by literary greats and reveals the repercussions of those travels on the authors’ personal lives and the broader literary landscape.
Award-winning author Travis Elborough brings each of these trips to life with fascinating insights into the stories behind the creation of some of the world’s most famous literary creations, including Dracula, Moby Dick, Murder on the Orient Express, Madame Bovary, The Talented Mr Ripley and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

From Herman Melville’s first whaling voyage in 1841, from New York to Liverpool, to Jack Kerouac’s on-the-road Odyssey, which is now an iconic drive, discover how these journeys imprinted themselves on some of the greatest literary minds of all time.

Complete with navigational notes, colour photographs and commissioned maps, the fresh insights within tell readers something new about the places, work and personalities of some of the world’s greatest minds.


Thanks to NetGalley and White Lion Publishing for the gifted copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a book about books (or authors in this case) is a winning book for me. The collection of names Travis has brought together in this is amazing. There’s a real spread from Hans Christian Andersen to Jane Austin, Lewis Carroll to Arthur Conan Doyle, Herman Melville to JK Rowling.

It’s a fascinating look at the fantastic and the seemingly everyday places that have inspired some of the greatest works of all time.

As a Brit, I loved the inclusion of UK travel. It’s easy to talk lovingly about the hot climates and classic architecture of foreign lands, but a lot harder to speak about your homeland because for you, it’s just normal. But there’s a number of journeys through the UK and Ireland and its really refreshing and gave me little bits of information about my own country that I didn’t know.

There are some lovely maps in the book. I had an e-copy and so wasn’t sure if the maps would look quite like they should, but the majority did, a few went off the page. They’re big and bright and clear, not overly complicated, and really help you get a perspective of places. There’s also some great photos and pictures that link to the authors’ journeys which was a lovely touch.

There were a few formatting issues here and there but hopefully they’re ironed out in the final version, but it didn’t hinder the enjoyment.

It’s one of those books that you can dip in and out of. Leave it on the coffee table or the bedside table and read about a couple of authors and then return to it tomorrow. Or, if you’ll like me, you’ll get completely absorbed and plough through them all. Either way of reading works with this book.

There’s some fascinating things in this book, things I didn’t know and couldn’t be found by just googling their name. There’s some real in-depth, quite personal bits about the authors and that’s exciting, I’m ashamed to say there were some authors I’d never even heard of, and even more whose books I haven’t read, but I have definitely put them on my wish list, 

I’m generally not one for travel writing reading – other than when I’m visiting a place – but the snippets he has chosen for these authors just make the world sound so gorgeous. I never thought people could write so perfectly about the smallest of things. I know the countries mentioned have changed, some unrecognisably, since these authors went, but it all sounds so inviting that I might just pick up some travel writing to read.

It has instantly made me want to travel somewhere, rent an isolated little cottage, and just write about my surroundings. It really prompts you to reconsider what’s around you and makes you look for inspiration in unlikely places.

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