In a series of 100 maps Moretti exposes the connections between literature and geography.
Moretti presents a new and innovating perspective by mapping the unexpected relationships between literature and geography. He illuminates the geographical assumptions of nineteenth-century novels and the geographic reach of particular authors and genres across the continent. He states that a good map can pose new questions and show connections that have escaped us so far. For example this atlas reveals the secret structure of Dickens's and Conan Doyle's London, and see how the fictional settings of Britain in Austen's time, or picaresque Spain, or France of the Comedie humaine imagine national identity in different ways. In his final chapter Moretti tells which books were most popular in the provincial libraries of Victorian Britain, and charts the European diffusion of Don Quixote, Buddenbrooks, and the great nineteenth-century bestsellers.