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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

A Voyage to France, England and the Low Countries

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXEUR840. Buy these 5 items as a set for $70 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Fodor's Amsterdam's 25 Best

Fodor's Amsterdam's 25 Best

by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This slim guide to essential highlights includes an excellent map of the city center and can easily be slipped in your pocket. (NTH16, $13.99)

The Undutchables

The Undutchables

by Colin White

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 308 PAGES

A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn't even think about haggling over prices. (NTH12, $16.00)

1066, The Year of the Conquest

1066, The Year of the Conquest

by David Howarth

  • HISTORY
  • 1981
  • PAPER
  • 207 PAGES

A crack medievalist and storyteller, Howarth brings to life the momentous events of 1066 in rich, anecdotal history -- a classic portrait of the Norman invasion and conquest of England. (GBR115, $15.00)

Kingdom by the Sea

Kingdom by the Sea

by Paul Theroux

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 361 PAGES

This time, the prolific writer recounts a coastal journey around the British Isles in 1982, displaying his occasional ill temper alongside his celebrated ability to combine social history with a good old-fashioned traveler's tale. (GBR09, $15.95)

Benelux Map

Benelux Map

by Michelin Travel Publications

  • 2012
  • MAP

Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000. (NTH03, $12.95)

 
Great Britain, Ireland Map

Great Britain, Ireland Map


by Marco Polo Travel Publishing

  • 2012
  • MAP

This fold-out overview map of Great Britain and Ireland is ideal for route planning, with highlighted scenic routes and places of interest. The map contains a comprehensive index and inset street plans of major cities. (GBR06, $11.95)

Dutch, A Rough Guide Phrasebook

Dutch, A Rough Guide Phrasebook


by Rough Guide

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 252 PAGES

An A-Z pocket dictionary, phrasebook and mini-guide to the Dutch language. (NTH74, $8.99)

Eyewitness Guide Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp

Eyewitness Guide Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp


by Rebecca Miles

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 210 PAGES

This superbly illustrated guide features color photos and maps of city neighborhoods, with information on history, culture and sightseeing. (BLG16, $20.00)

Fodor's Amsterdam & the Netherlands

Fodor's Amsterdam & the Netherlands


by Fodors

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

The up-to-date Fodor's guide features invaluable recommendations on where to stay and eat and what to do throughout the Netherlands. Compact and portable, it's ideal for either a weekend trip or an extended visit. (NTH105, $21.99)

Michelin Green Guide Normandy

Michelin Green Guide Normandy


by Michelin Travel Publications

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

A thorough introduction to Normandy and the Channel Islands in the classic Michelin style, featuring brief descriptions of all the major attractions. (FRN89, $21.99)

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer


by David Winner

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 276 PAGES

A British journalist, Winner interviews football stars -- along with architects, political scientists and novelists -- in this insightful, humorous look at the transformation of Dutch society since the 1970s. (NTH56, $15.95)

English History, Made Brief, Irreverent and Pleasurable

English History, Made Brief, Irreverent and Pleasurable


by Lacey Baldwin Smith

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 262 PAGES

Smith serves up memorable chunks of English history with aplomb, spicing the tale with hilarious cartoons and profiles of the kings, queens and dunces who have led the nation. (GBR869, $17.95)

The Embarrassment of Riches

The Embarrassment of Riches


by Simon Schama

  • HISTORY
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 698 PAGES

An engaging cultural history and much more, this book is a study of the Dutch in the 17th century and their surprising challenge to Spanish rule. (NTH04, $26.00)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Normandy

The Most Beautiful Villages of Normandy


by Hugh Palmer

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

An oversized, full color photographic celebration of the villages, churches, chateaux, harbors, and coastlines of Normandy. (FRN647, $40.00)

Tulipomania

Tulipomania


by Mike Dash

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

The story of the world's most coveted flower and the extraordinary passion it aroused, this vivid history traces the tulip from its origins on the Turkish steppes to status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland. (NTH30, $13.95)

Vermeer's Hat, The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World

Vermeer's Hat, The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World


by Timothy Brook

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

Brook uses the domestic detail in Vermeer's art as a window into the 17th-century Dutch world, a golden age of trade, painting and prosperity. (NTH125, $18.00)

A Worldly Art

A Worldly Art


by Mariet Westermann

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters. (NTH46, $25.00)

Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait

Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait


by Pascal Bonafoux

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 175 PAGES

With over 200 illustrations, this pocket-size encyclopedia traces the life and career of artist Rembrandt von Rijn. It offers insight into his influence on the art of the portrait -- an illuminating companion for any visit to Amsterdam and its museums. (NTH11, $12.95)

The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral

The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral


by Robert A. Scott

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 294 PAGES

An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches. (EUR190, $26.95)

A Tall Man in a Low Land

A Tall Man in a Low Land


by Harry Pearson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 246 PAGES

Pearson, a British travel writer, journalist and comic is an entertaining guide to Belgium and its traditions, culture, beer and chocolate. (BLG19, $16.95)

In Search of England

In Search of England


by H.V. Morton | James Morris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 274 PAGES

The much-beloved, enduring account of Morton's ramblings through the English countryside in the early days of the motorcar. Morton charmingly mixes a deep appreciation of the art, culture and history of the place with his own keen observations. (GBR368, $16.00)

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc


by Mary Gordon

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

In elegant, insightful prose, novelist Gordon meditates on the courageous and complex young girl and the iconic status she has acquired. (FRN753, $15.00)

Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens

Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens


by Mark Lamster

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 316 PAGES

Ranging from his home in Antwerp to London, Madrid, Paris and Rome, Lamster uncovers the gripping tale behind one of the world's most famous painters and his double life as a secret agent, diplomat and political operative in 17th century Europe. (BLG44, $17.00)

The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition

The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition


by Anne Frank

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 340 PAGES

The classic story of an adolescent Jewish girl's life and thoughts while in hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Holland. A new edition with added material. (NTH05, $13.00)

Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Manfred Wolf

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 238 PAGES

Organized by district, these 17 contemporary short stories by modern Dutch writers, including Cees Nooteboom and Geert Mak, are set amid the canals, cafes and neighborhoods of Amsterdam. (NTH33, $13.95)

English Hours, A Portrait of a Country


by Henry James

  • LITERATURE
  • 2011
  • PAPER

The classic. (GRB02, $17.00)

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue


by Susan Vreeland

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

This finely-crafted novel tells the story of the girl in an imagined, undiscovered portrait by Vermeer. Created in the 17th century, the painting passes through a number of people's hands, providing a series of tales that reflect the history and character of Holland and Europe through the years. (NTH23, $15.00)

Girl With a Pearl Earring

Girl With a Pearl Earring


by Tracy Chevalier

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 233 PAGES

Chevalier's richly drawn novel imagines the story behind Vermeer's mysterious portrait of a turbaned girl with a pearl earring. (NTH25, $16.00)

Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary


by Lydia Davis | Gustave Flaubert

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 342 PAGES

The landmark novel of a woman who suffers from her humdrum life in a provincial village outside Rouen, France. (FRN301, $17.00)

Niccolo Rising

Niccolo Rising


by Dorothy Dunnett

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 470 PAGES

From the reigning queen of historical fiction comes this fast-paced, thoroughly-researched novel of ambition and worldly goods in 15th-century Bruges. This is the first volume in her House of Niccolo series. (BLG13, $15.95)

The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending


by Julian Barnes

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 163 PAGES

Winner of the 2011 Booker Prize. The past looms large in this compelling, psychologically astute short novel of middle-aged Tony Webster, suddenly confronted by a childhood he thought he had long left behind. (GRB37, $23.95)

Tulip Fever

Tulip Fever


by Deborah Moggach

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 281 PAGES

In this surprise bestseller, set in 1630s Amsterdam, a man contracts the talented painter Jan Van Loos to paint a portrait of him and his beautiful wife, Sophia. A vivid drama unfolds as a mutual attraction develops between Van Loos and Sophia. (NTH31, $15.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.