Umberto Eco's first novel, The Name of the Rose (1982), was a huge bestseller which brought him worldwide acclaim. With his subsequent works of fiction, philosophy, literary criticism and semiotics, he has been recognised as one of Europe's finest thinkers. He is currently President of the Scuola Superiore di Studi Humanistici and the University of Bologna. He is also known for his lavishly illustrated anthologies, On Beauty, On Ugliness, The Infinity of Lists and The Book of Legendary Lands.
Eco's book is a reminder that writers and readers once travelled widely and magnificently, without ever leaving their homes or their heads, to places that retained their truth in our imaginations long after mundane reality overtook them. - The TimesIt was love at first sight, What a stunning, great explosion of colour! Wonderful. - Big Issue in ScotlandProlonged scrutiny of such seductive utopias would turn anyone into a believer. - Radar, The IndependentPresented by Eco in light and witty prose, these legendary places are made more vivid by many well-chosen illustrations and historic texts. - New StatesmanEco is our witty and erudite travel guide through these fantastical and theoretical worlds. - Catholic HeraldYou'll soon realise that the same sparkling intelligence that characterises Eco's "serious" writing is also at work here. - Times Literary SupplementPlacing ancient and medieval texts beside contemporary stories, films beside poems, comics beside novels, it is a journey that is both erudite and enjoyable, and one that only Eco could have created. - PSYCHIC