The Map Book
Edited by Peter Barber
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005, [First Edition], ISBN 0297843729, full page colour illustrations and photographs, illustrated end papers, illustrated frontispiece and title page, hardcover, dustjacket
Near Fine Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, no inscriptions, dustjacket shows minor edge and shelf wear (see photographs)
“The Map Book takes this broad definition to present in great – and fascinating – variety the various ways we have charted our world, from the very local to the global. Simply organised as a progression through time, each map is often not only a beautiful work of art in its own right but also tells us about our changing perceptions of the earth. Sometimes, of course, maps tell lies and there are examples represented here that are meant to alter or influence our understanding of the world around us. There are maps of oceans and continents charted by heroic adventurers sailing into the unknown, at sea for years in tiny ships. For every example of a beautifully embellished map that has survived there must have been scores of cartographers who perished at sea or in ‘unknown parts’. As rumours gathered pace of new discoveries, shadowy continents began to appear on the margins of the world, often labelled ‘unknown lands’. Even as late as the eighteenth century, maps of Africa had the firm notation across the interior. ‘Countries never explored by Europeans’.
Maps are not just about understanding and representing the physical world. They have an administrative use in demarcating national boundaries or individual plots of land, a social use in showing who lives where, a military use in depicting the layout of enemy positions, a political or propaganda use in showing one country or faction at an advantage over others.”