The Curious Map Book - the exhibition catalogue from British Library available to buy at Museum Bookstore

The Curious Map Book

Regular price £24.95

'Takes a quirkier approach to cartographical history ... a fascinating volume' -New York Times Book Review

The Curious Map Book - British Library

Mapmaking has always been a serious business, whether surveying property limits, marking international boundaries or plotting lines of travel. Yet cartographers of all periods had a sense of humour, and mapmakers often used their artistic talents to create maps not for strictly geographical purposes but for the pleasure and entertainment of others. In this book, an expert cartographic researcher uncovers 100 curious, entertaining maps, drawn mainly from the unrivalled map collection in the British Library.

Many of the maps depict countries in human or animal form, among them the famous 'Leo Belgicus' - the Low Countries in the shape of a lion. Many of the maps featured here were created for recreational play, with the secondary purpose of educating through enjoyment, including some of the very earliest cartographical game-maps, jigsaws, playing-card maps and even a jigsaw globe.With advances in printing techniques, publishers found they could affix maps to all manner of objects, often commemorative, such as the tankard celebrating Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in 1805. 

Through images of these maps and many more, this amusing and unusual book reveals the little-known playful side of mapmaking.

  • Author: Ashley Baynton-Williams
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Date published: October 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0712356190
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 22 cm

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