At­las A World of Maps from the British Li­brary

Timeless Travels Magazine - - BOOKS -

Tom Harper The British Li­brary Pub­lished: Oc­to­ber 2018 Price: £30.00

This beau­ti­ful book has been de­scribed as 'an at­las of time travel' and it is an apt de­scrip­tion. Al­tas, A World of Maps

from the British Li­brary is the de­fin­i­tive printed show­case of the British na­tional map col­lec­tion, and one of the world's largest with over four mil­lion maps dat­ing from 15 BCE to 2018 CE.

There are maps of lost spa­ces, which oth­er­wise would have been for­got­ten, maps that have guarded long-kept se­crets, and maps that show car­to­graphic blun­ders - some­times in­clud­ing places that were en­tirely imag­ined by the map­maker.

By look­ing at these old maps, we are trans­ported back to the age in which they were made. What sto­ries do they tell of those times? After world and uni­verse maps, the book is di­vided by con­ti­nent, and also seas and oceans, ce­les­tial maps and fan­tasy worlds. In the last cat­e­gory there is a map by Grayson Perry called

The Is­land of Bad Art (2013) a won­der­ful satir­i­cal com­ment on the art world, which il­lus­trates the im­por­tance of all types of maps.

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