Saturday, 11 September 2010

Who created -

You will probably have heard of most of the following places. But do you know who created them?

1. Shangri-La
2. Utopia
3. Lilliput
4. Eldorado
5. Erewhon
6. Serendipity
7. Yoknapatawpha County
8. Llareggub
9. Middle Earth
10. Narnia
11. Discworld
12. Boloxnia

1. Shangri-La was a fictional utopian lamasery high in the mountains of Tibet in James Hilton's ‘Lost Horizon’, 1933
2. Utopia was the ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system Sir Thomas More described in 'Utopia' in 1516.
3. Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially 'Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships', is a novel by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift . It featured Lilliput along with Brobdingnag and a voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan.
4. Eldorado was the optimist’s land of plenty in Voltaire’s ‘Candide’, 1759.
5. Erewhon (Nowhere backwards - well almost) was created by Samuel Butler (anonymously) in 1742 as a satire on Victorian society.
6. Serendipity was Horace Walpole’s magical land where wonderful things were discovered by chance. In one of his numerous letters, from 28 January 1754, he coined the word serendipity which he said was derived from a "silly fairy tale" he had read, The Three Princes of Serendip.
7. The fictional setting for most of William Faulkner’s novels.
8. Llareggub (Bugger all backwards) was the creation of Dylan Thomas and the setting for Under Milk Wood (written 1948-53).
9. Middle Earth was the setting for Tolkein’s ‘Hobbit’ (1937) and ‘Lord of the Rings’ (1949).
10. Narnia - the land through the wardrobe - was created by C S Lewis. It featured in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (1950) and the other ‘Chronicles of Narnia‘.
11. The setting for some thirty novels by Terry Pratchett beginning with ‘The Colour of Magic’ (1983). The Discworld is flat and sits on top of four elephants which are carried through space on top of a giant turtle.
12. Created by listeners to Alan Lester's Brakfast Show on Radio 2, Boloxnia is a fictional country in Eastern Europe which is permanently set in 1957. The X is silent, with the correct pronunciation being Boloania. It is supposedly a Communist country whose main industry and source of income is sausages.


  1. I knew five of those. Four I never heard of. Leaves three that were familiar but I did not know or remember who created them.

    What bugs me most is that I did not remember that it was Walpole that came up with serendipity. It's not really that long ago that I read about that! (I don't recall serendipity used as a name of a place, though? but as a term to express the kind of lucky circumstance of making an important discovery while you're really in search of something totally different.)

  2. I knew 2 and had half an idea on 3 more... My husband would have known Discworld (maybe I'll ask him) - he's read all the books.

    The rest were new to me! Thanks - I love learning new things and usually do on your website!

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  4. I knew seven from the list. A very interesting post, thank you!
    Eldorado's origins are placed a bit further back by a wikipedia entry; they say that a pre-columbian people, the Muisca, were in the habit of covering the naked body of their newest head of sate with gold powder, which came to be called El Dorado, "The Golden Man", by the Spanish conquistadores. Only later the term's meaning shifted from the man to a city and eventually to a whole land.
    Ah, don't you just LOVE ethymology!!

  5. Thanks CJ. David and I have just done the test. We didn't do too badly between us but Boloxnia?! Really?


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