Margaret Elphinstone

The maps of the novels

Most of my novels are accompanied by maps*. I visited all the locations in The Sea Road and Voyageurs and presented them as accurately as I could. My descriptions in the novels were supported by carefully selected maps as a further aid to the reader. The map on the cover of the first edition of Voyageurs is a reprint of an 1805 map as used by Mark Greenhow in the novel.

Hy Brasil and the island of Ellan Bride, which is the setting of Light, are both imaginary places but accurately conceived. If the mid-Atlantic sea-mount, Mount Faraday, were a little higher it could be an island, and that is where I placed Hy Brasil. The imaginary island of Ellan Bride is situated on the existing Chicken Rocks off the Isle of Man. Geologically the locations are plausible. So too are the flora and fauna. The map of the Hy Brasil archipelago reflects historical attempts in old atlases to record this island which, although it does not exist, was featured in British Admiralty charts into the 19th century. The map of Ellan Bride is a pastiche of a surveyor’s map from the early 19th century.

Many readers have told me of their disappointment and anger at the poor quality of the published maps. (An exception is the map in The Sea Road which has been reproduced satisfactorily). I share their frustration, particularly since I know that the originals were well drawn by excellent artists.

Now I am pleased that anyone can access the maps on this website and download copies for their own use. Already my readers are responding favourably: "I've just found the download maps facility on your website - excellent!  Especially appreciated as I've just re-read Hy Brasil (I think that's four times now) and the map in the book is indeed hard to make out.  I really like your work, especially Hy Brasil: I want to go and live there!" A.K. Edinburgh 
Let me know what you think of this new facility.

*My most recent novel, The Gathering Night, is the exception. Set in the Mesolithic period, the people of the time would have had no concept of creating or using a map. There are, however, sufficient clues for the modern reader to identify the book’s locations in the west of Scotland, taking account of sea level changes in the last 8000 years.




Hy Brasil

The island of Hy Brasil in the mid-Atlantic, as described in the novel of the same name.

The maps of the novels #01


The maps of the novels #02

You can view this map in more detail by clicking on it and keying 'Command' and '+'
OR you can download a pdf of the map by clicking this icon >



The lands of the Voyageurs

A large part of the novel Voyageurs is set in North America at the time of the 1812 war. The map shows the places which feature in the story.

The maps of the novels #03


The maps of the novels #04

You can view this map in more detail by clicking on it and keying 'Command' and '+'
OR you can download a pdf of the map by clicking this icon >



Ellan Bride

The map of the island of Ellan Bride off the Isle of Man as described in the novel Light.


The maps of the novels #05


The maps of the novels #06

You can view this map in more detail by clicking on it and keying 'Command' and '+'
OR you can download a pdf of the map by clicking this icon >



The Sea Road

Although I was pleased with the quality of the map published in The Sea Road it appears that some books have been published with the map missing so I have made it available here.

The maps of the novels #07


The maps of the novels #08

You can view this map in more detail by clicking on it and keying 'Command' and '+'
OR you can download a pdf of the map by clicking this icon >

click
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