Synopses & Reviews
The concept of the earth as a sphere has been around for centuries, emerging around the time of Pythagoras in the sixth century BC, and eventually becoming dominant as other thinkers of the ancient world, including Plato and Aristotle, accepted the idea. The first record of an actual globe being made is found in verse, written by the poet Aratus of Soli, who describes a celestial sphere of the stars by Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (ca. 408and#150;355 BC). The oldest surviving globeand#151;a celestial globe held up by Atlasand#8217;s shouldersand#151;dates back to 150 AD, but in the West, globes were not made again for about a thousand years. It was not until the fifteenth century that terrestrial globes gained importance, culminating when German geographer Martin Behaim created what is thought to be the oldest surviving terrestrial globe. In Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation, and Power
, Sylvia Sumira, beginning with Behaimand#8217;s globe, offers a authoritative and striking illustrated history of the subsequent four hundred years of globe making. and#160;
Showcasing the impressive collection of globes held by the British Library, Sumira traces the inception and progression of globes during the period in which they were most widely usedand#151;from the late fifteenth century to the late nineteenth centuryand#151;shedding light on their purpose, function, influence, and manufacture, as well as the cartographers, printers, and instrument makers who created them. She takes readers on a chronological journey around the world to examine a wide variety of globes, from those of the Renaissance that demonstrated a renewed interest in classical thinkers; to those of James Wilson, the first successful commercial globe maker in America; to those mass-produced in Boston and New York beginning in the 1800s. Along the way, Sumira not only details the historical significance of each globe, but also pays special attention to their materials and methods of manufacture and how these evolved over the centuries.
A stunning and accessible guide to one of the great tools of human exploration, Globes will appeal to historians, collectors, and anyone who has ever examined this classroom accessory and wondered when, why, and how they came to be made.
and#8220;A massive, gorgeous art book tracing the history of globes.and#8221;
and#8220;A beautifully photographed tour of the British Libraryand#8217;s collection of globes, most of which date from the early sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. There are terrestrial globes, celestial globes, pocket globes, globes of the moon, and a decadent blue globe made in China in the early 1600s. Most of the globes were made with a scientific purpose, to aid navigation, or to demonstrate the parallax of the moon. But together, they suggest something beyond precision: a reverent effort to make sense of the mysterious place we plant our feet.and#8221;
and#8220;This fully illustrated book, centered around the British Libraryand#8217;s outstanding collection of globes, provides a clear and authoritative introduction to some of the worldand#8217;s most sought-after and artistic cartographic creationsand#8212;including the captivating and little known miniature globes, which were a particular English specialty. The author has an unparalleled familiarity with globes through her work as one of the worldand#8217;s most expert globe restorers. It has given her a surely unique perspective. While most experts look at globes from the outside, she looks at them from the inside outwards. In the process, and in simple language, she skillfully guides the reader through the complexities of their construction and use as well as provides an overview of the fascinating story of their development over the centuries.and#8221;
and#8220;All you ever wanted to know about the history of globes and how they have been made. See inside them as well as admire their geographical and astronomicaland#160;exteriors in this beautifully illustrated book by a real expert, Sylvia Sumira. Some of the most famous globes in theand#160;world and those from the British Libraryand#8217;s rarely displayed collection are revealed in their various guises; as symbols of power and mathematical instruments of geography and astronomy, as well asand#160; teaching aids and games for young people. A book not to be missed.and#8221;
and#8220;In her lavishly illustrated new book, Globes: 400 years of Exploration, Navigation, and Power, Sumira traces the history and making of globes and showcases dozens of fine examples drawn largely from the collection of the British Library.and#8221;
and#8220;Globes, by professional globe-restorer Sylvia Sumira, is a history of globe-making from the late-15th through the late-19th centuries, when globes were used as educational tools, scientific instruments and status symbols. It is also breathtakingly beautiful. . . . Certainly worth a spin, Globes will grab the imagination of anyone fascinated by maps.and#8221;
Though recognized largely today as pedagogical tools, as mere spherical maps of the world, globes have played an influential role in the pursuit and discovery of knowledge and in the evolution of maps and map making. Since written evidence of the first globe appearedandmdash;a celestial sphere of the stars by Greek astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (ca. 408andndash;355 bc)andmdash;these three-dimensional geographical maps have symbolized affluence and prestige, advanced discovery and exploration, and encouraged curiosity about the temporal and eternal worlds. A Book of Globes provides a comprehensive overview of this history of globes and the art of globe making. Showcasing the impressive collection of the British Library, independent conservator Sylvia Sumira traces the inception and progression of globes over timeandmdash;from the early sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuryandmdash;shedding light on their purpose, function, influence, and manufacture, as well as the cartographers, printers, and instrument makers who created them.
About the Author
Sylvia Sumira is a leading authority on historic globes and one of few conservators in the world to specialize in printed globes. She worked at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich before setting up her own studio, where she carries out conservation work for museums, libraries, and other institutions, as well as for private owners.
Table of Contents
The Parts of a Globe
A Brief History of Globes
The Making of Globes