Map of 12th Century England for a Historical Novel

Many of the maps I create are for historical fiction books. I work with a lot of authors, some first-time authors and some who have written several books.

Amy Mantravadi has written a historical fiction trilogy about her ancestor who lived in England in the 12th century. She contacted me to design a map to show the main locations in The Eternal Queen, the final book in the trilogy.

Amy provided a list of castles, abbeys, and major rivers to include, and wanted a simple black and white map. We weren’t sure which layout would work best, so I sent two options. Even though the horizontal layout would need to be printed sideways in the book, it allowed me to zoom in a bit closer to make labelling less cluttered.

portrait layout draft for Eternal Queen map
horizontal layout draft for Eternal Queen map

Amy wanted an artistic look to the map, with symbols that looked hand-sketched. I found some public domain symbols of trees, mountains, and castles, and worked up two design drafts. The only difference was the symbols used for the castles and abbeys.

detail of draft with city symbols
detail of draft with castle symbols

With a few minor tweaks to labels and the addition of some hills, the map was ready for print.

final greyscale map of historical England in the 12th century for book, Eternal Queen

For more information, keep an eye on Amy’s website to pre-order The Eternal Queen – coming soon.

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