The Island in Imagination and Experience

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.


‘This fascinating book is the best account of islands, island history, and the island consciousness that you’ll ever read. It’s rooted in authentic adventures, yet infused with a brave spirit of physical curiosity and scholarly enquiry – the defining work of island literature that’s long been needed. Maroon yourself in it and be enthralled.’ - Jim Perrin

Rights Profile

Rights Available
World, all languages

Original Language

Samples Available
Full text available in English



Publication Date

June 2017


The Island in Imagination and Experience on the Saraband Books website