New Book Details How Explorers Once Conveyed Wonder Through Maps

We want a fresh copy of An Atlas of Geographical Wonders, the brand new book by scholars Gilles Palsky, Jean-Marc Besse, Philippe Grand and Jean-Christophe Bailly. The hardcover tome zeroes in on the beautiful maps made by 19th century adventurers, explorers and scientists with 156 colour illustrations through 208 pages.

This is the first book to catalog comparative maps and tableaux that visualize the heights and lengths of the world’s mountains and rivers. Produced predominantly in the nineteenth century, these beautifully rendered maps emerged out of the tide of exploration and scientific developments in measuring techniques. Beginning with the work of explorer Alexander von Humboldt, these historic drawings reveal a world of artistic and imaginative difference. Many of them give way–and with visible joy–to the power of fantasy in a mesmerizing array of realistic and imaginary forms. Most of the maps are from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at Stanford University.

The collaborative effort was published late last month by the Princeton Architectural Press and sells for $50 (USD).

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