Cover Characteristic :: European Cities

Cover Characteristic is a weekly meme hosted by Sugar and Snark. Some of the information contained in this post was sourced from Wikipedia, and select phrases were used directly.

London, 1850 (Vampire Plagues, #1) by Sebastian Rook

Set in--you guessed it!--London during the year 1850, the first book of the Vampire Plagues series introduces three preteens and the Meso-American vampire deity preparing to wreak havoc on Europe.

At first glance, the cover might not appear particularly evocative of Europe. But if you look closely, you can see Big Ben in the background! Ironically, this is actually an inaccuracy; the Elizabeth Tower, formerly known as the Clock Tower and more conventionally referred to as "Big Ben", wasn't completed until 1859. Its inclusion on this cover was no doubt because of its status as an incredibly visible British cultural icon.

Vacation Under the Volcano (Magic Tree House, #13) by Mary Pope Osborne

In Vacation Under the Volcano, Jack and Annie, the two kids who travel through time in a magical tree house steered (so to speak) by Morgan le Fay, end up in Pompeii shortly before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Nowadays, Pompeii is a macabre tourist attraction in Italy.

Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House, #16) by Mary Pope Osborne

In Hour of the Olympics, the aforementioned Jack and Annie find themselves in Ancient Rome just in time for the first Olympic games. Held in Olympia in the year 776 BCE, these early Olympics were deeply connected to the local religion, were predated by similar religious events such as the Heraea Games for women, and were part of a larger group of events called the Panhellenic Games. The games as the Ancient Greeks knew them ended in 394, when pagan festivals were banned by Theodosius I.

Night of the New Magicians (Magic Tree House, #35) by Mary Pope Osborne

One of the longer chapter books in the Magic Tree House series (which are known as the "Merlin Missions"), Night of the New Magicians is an adventure set in Paris, France. To make its setting crystal clear to any and all prospective readers, the cover is dominated by a depiction of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.

Finished in 1989, the Eiffel tower was for 41 years the tallest man-made structure in the world. (Previously, that title had belonged to the Washington Monument in D.C.) Nowadays, the Eiffel Tower remains the second-tallest structure in France and boasts the highest publicly accessible observation deck in the European Union.

What's shocking to most people is that the Eiffel Tower was actually intended to be a temporary structure. Its demolition was set for 1909, after the City of Paris gained ownership of it, but the tower's practical use in turn-of-the-century communications technology prolonged its life. Almost as startling is the fact that the tower has actually been fraudulently "sold" twice--by the same con artist! And in 1912, a man died after purposefully throwing himself from the tower during a demonstration of his (failed) parachute.

It remains one of the world's most popular and well-known tourist attractions to this day.

The Castle Crime (A to Z Mysteries Super Edition, #6) by Ron Roy

In The Castle Crime, a recent installment of the long-running A to Z Mysteries series (a childhood favorite of mine!), young sleuths Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose head to England. On the cover of the book, one can see an illustration of Windsor Castle, a royal residence currently owned by Queen Elizabeth II. Windsor Castle is located in Windsor, an unparished area in Berkshire. It's lesser known (at least to Americans) than its London counterpart, Buckingham, but both currently used for official entertaining. In fact, Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the longest-occupied palace in Europe.

Like Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle is open to the public during specific times, though admission fees must be paid.

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