The Island in Imagination and Experience
By (author) Barry Smith
From Treasure Island to Robben Island, from the paradise of Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ to Napoleon’s purgatory on Elba, islands have proved irresistible to mankind’s imagination since time immemorial. Self-confessed islomaniac Barry Smith explores how islands bewitch us so, and examines the kind of human experiences that islands inspire. Journeying all around the globe to take in the most fascinating stories of Earth’s half a million islands, this book considers the unique geography, politics and economics of islands and their cultures. It traces their singular place in literature, religion and philosophy, and disentangles the myths and the facts to reveal just why islands exert such an insistent grip on the human psyche.
Barry Smith is, it goes without saying, an islomaniac. He has spent much of his 60-odd years at work, rest and play on islands all around the world – from Scotland’s Western Isles to Sicily, from Alaska to Cape Horn. To cap it all, he has completed a doctoral dissertation… about islands. He lives in northern Scotland and France.