Maps

The Cantino Planisphere (1502)

Interesting review by Tom Holland in the Guardian of A History of the World in Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton:

Rare, in other words, is a representation of the earth’s geography so accurate and neutral that it brings with it no baggage at all. What is true of a photograph tends to be even more so of one composed by human hand. “A map,” as Jerry Brotton observes in his fascinating and panoramic new history of the cartographer’s art, “always manages the reality it tries to show”. It is the truth of this observation that enables him to trace, in the way that rivers, mountains and seas have been drawn in various cultures and periods, the contours of human self-awareness as well. Peaks and troughs; disinterest and prejudice; pin-point accuracy and whole realms of experience imagined as the haunt of fearsome monsters: civilisation bears witness to them all.

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Maps