Tender Maps: Travels in Search of the Emotions of Place (hardback)


What do we mean when we talk about atmosphere? A unique piece of travel writing weaving memoir, literature, art and psycho-geography.

‘Rich and beguiling.’

Travis Elborough, author of Atlas of Vanishing Places

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‘Of all the places where I feel the translucency of things, places that are thin for me, bluebell woods are first among them.’

Some travellers are driven by the need to scale a natural wonder, or to see a city’s sights or a place of history. Others, like Alice Maddicott, travel in search of a particular scene, feeling or atmosphere, often inspired by music, literature and art. Taking us deep into our emotional and creative responses to place, this extraordinary book explores the author’s relentless travelling, from the heat of Sicily to the mountains of Japan. With her uniquely lyrical approach to psycho-geography, Maddicott explores the relationship with landscape that is the very essence of human creativity.

From seventeenth-century salons of Paris to the underground culture and crumbling balconies of modern Tbilisi, through writers as diverse as Italo Calvino and L. M. Montgomery and artists like Ana Mendieta and eighteenth-century girls embroidering their lives, Tender Maps is a beautifully evocative book of travel, culture and imagination that transports readers in time and place.

‘A rich and beguiling work of literary travel memoir that nimbly tracks the wider contours of the world in terms of feeling, memory, introspection and the imagination.’

Travis Elborough, author of Atlas of Vanishing Places


‘A compelling way of looking at the world.’



‘A moving and thought-provoking exploration of changing senses of place over time, in the form of a kind of locography – life-writing through places and moments in place. Tender Maps is part memoir, part travel writing, part group biography, part social history, part cultural criticism. It will transport you to other places and times and leave you reflecting on your own tender maps.’

Polly Atkin, author of Some Of Us Just Fall


Tender Maps is a heartfelt, thought-provoking meditation on the “personality of place” and the profound interconnection between human emotion and the physical landscape. It will enliven your senses and enrich your experience of the world around you.’

Rebecca Lowe, author of The Slow Road to Tehran


‘Intimate, whimsical and utterly magical …  A unique and memorable read, it’s perfect for those who prefer to stray far from the path in hope of falling off the map altogether.’


Read an extract.

Also available in ebook.