Synopses & Reviews
CARTOGRAPHIA offers a stunning array of 200 of the most beautiful, important, and fascinating maps in existence, from the world's largest cartographic collection, at the Library of Congress. These maps show how our idea of the world has shifted and grown over time, and each map tells its own unique story about nations, politics, and ambitions. The chosen images, with their accompanying stories, introduce the reader to an exciting new way of "reading" maps as travelogues---living history from the earliest of man's imaginings about planet earth to our current attempts at charting cyberspace.
Among the rare gems included in the book are the Waldseemuller Map of the World from 1507, the first to include the designation "America"; pages from the Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of 1570, considered the first modern atlas; rare maps from Africa, Asia, and Oceania that challenge traditional Western perspectives; William Faulkner's hand-drawn 1936 map of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi; and even a map of the Human Genome. In an oversized format, with gorgeous four-color reproductions throughout, Catrographia will appeal to collectors, historians, and anyone looking for a perfect gift.
"Drawing on the Library of Congress's 4.8 million maps and 60,000 atlases, this is an overview of cartography in different times and cultures. Veteran picture editor Virga upends our notion of maps as two-dimensional representations of physical spaces by presenting depictions of imaginative or spiritual territory: a 17th-century 'map of the soul' has five entry points, each corresponding to one of the five senses. And while we're accustomed to maps being oriented north, Islamic and some other cartographers oriented their maps south, as in an eye-opening 1996 'Upside Down World Map' made in Australia that shows the 'down under' continent approximately where we usually see Greenland. Virga provides historical, sociological and anthropological background to each map. Captions for the plates are so small as to be almost unreadable, making it difficult to follow Virga's interpretations of the maps. Still, this is one of those rare coffee-table books that deserves to be read, that repeatedly delights the eye while informing the mind about the rich variety of humans' attempts to orient themselves in the world. 201 color illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Cartographia" offers a stunning array of 200 of the most beautiful, important, and fascinating maps in existence, all garnered from the worlds largest cartographic collection at the Library of Congress. Little, Brown and Company
About the Author
Vincent Virga is the author of EYES OF THE NATION: A VISUAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, which was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club.