TLC Reader John Harrison is Waterstones Wales Book of the Month

August 03, 2015 | Other News, TLC Talent

TLC non-fiction reader and award-winning travel writer John Harrison is to launch his new book, 1519: A Journey to the End of Time, at Hatchards Bookshop 187 Piccadilly on Wednesday 9th September. Further details tbc. Waterstones Wales have made it their September Book of the Month, and it is currently a Telegraph Book of the Week.

“In 1519 an arrogant and unscrupulous man sailed from the Caribbean, with orders to find a missing Spanish expedition.  He immediately set about carving himself an empire in modern Mexico, while the governor of Cuba sent a force out to kill him. Hernan Cortés explored the coast to Veracruz then struck inland seduced by tales of a great empire rich in gold.  He found the largest and best run city on earth and reduced it to rubble.

John followed in his footsteps for four months, finding out the jungle ruins and sophisticated hilltop cities which put the lie to the popular image of the Aztecs and their neighbours as bloodthirsty savages.  Popular accounts always suggest he was mistaken for a returning god; the truth is very different and far more interesting.  Both the Spanish and the Aztecs thought that the world was coming to a close soon, and that they were pleasing their gods in performing vital last deeds.  The Spanish legacy is far darker than the Aztec one.  

When making the journey, alone, John was recovering from throat cancer treatment, and brings to the book, a parallel personal journey, putting his body back together.  It had never seemed so important to celebrate life.”

Read more on John’s website. An excerpt from the book is available to read at the Wales Arts Review here.

Jojohn harrisonhn Harrison is a writer and adventurer whose first travel book was a Sunday Times book of the week highly praised by Jan Morris.  His second won the Wales Book of the Year 2011, and his history guide to Antarctica won the 2013 Wales Book of the Year Creative Non-Fiction Award.  He has twice won the Alexander Cordell Travel Writing Competition, and is also the winner of the British Guild of Travel Writers (Best Narrative Travel Book). For TLC, John reads travel narratives, self-help and memoir, historical fiction, horror, and short stories.