For the past few years, at about this time of year, I’ve put together a gift guide listing some of the noteworthy books about maps that have been published over the previous year. This year’s list includes two biographies, two books about sea monsters (!), and a healthy dose of art.
Once again, books bought through these Amazon affiliate links (routed to what the web server thinks is your nearest English-language Amazon store) make me a little money. Thank you for your support.
- A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers
edited by Antonis Antoniou, R. Klanten, S. Ehmann and H. Hellige
Gestalten, January (hardcover)
A collection of cartography by “a new generation of original and sought-after designers, illustrators, and mapmakers,” many of which I’ve seen before online and am happy to see reprinted. My blog post.
- Earth from Space
by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Abrams Books, November (hardcover)
- A History of the World in Twelve Maps
by Jerry Brotton
Viking, November (hardcover/ebook)
This book came out in the U.K. from Penguin in 2012 and is now available there in paperback; the U.S. edition comes out in November 2013. From the publisher: “Starting with Ptolemy, ‘father of modern geography,’ and ending with satellite cartography, A History of the World in 12 Maps brings maps from classical Greece, Renaissance Europe, and the Islamic and Buddhist worlds to life and reveals their influence on how we — literally — look at our present world.”
- Mapping the First World War: The Great War Through Maps from 1914 to 1918
by Peter Chasseaud
Collins, November (hardcover/ebook)
The first of two books dealing with maps of World War I (Simon Forty’s Mapping the First World War: Battlefields of the Great Conflict from Above comes out next year), this “unique collection of historical maps, expert commentary and photographs” contains more than 150 maps.
- Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers
by Becky Cooper
Abrams Image, April (hardcover/ebook)
A collection of hand-drawn maps of Manhattan submitted by both anonymous and notable New Yorkers. My blog post.
- Here Be Dragons: Exploring Fantasy Maps and Settings
by Stefan Ekman
Wesleyan University Press, March (hardcover/
A study of the role of place in fantasy literature; its first chapter represents the first serious study of the design, appearance and role of maps in fantasy. In my review I wrote: “Ekman has done something rather new here. His analysis does not plumb the depths of the subject as deeply as I would have liked, but what he does do has not been done before, and represents the necessary first steps toward a proper critical understanding of fantasy maps.”
- A Renaissance Globemaker’s Toolbox: Johannes Schoner and the Revolution of Modern Science 1475-1550
by John W. Hessler
GILES, April (hardcover)
A biography of German priest, astronomer and mathematician Johannes Sch�ner (1477-1547), an early globemaker who, among other things, created the first printed celestial globe gores as well as globe gores for Martin Waldseem�ller’s world maps. My blog post.
- The Measure of Manhattan
by Marguerite Holloway
W. W. Norton, August (hardcover/ebook)
- Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics
by Laura Kurgan
Zone Books, March (hardcover)
A study of the meaning of modern, technology-driven maps and satellite imagery. From the publisher: “Poised at the intersection of art, architecture, activism, and geography, her analysis uncovers the implicit biases of the new views, the means of recording information they present, and the new spaces they have opened up.” My blog post.
- Sea Monsters: A Voyage around the World’s Most Beguiling Map
by Joseph Nigg
University of Chicago Press, August (hardcover)
Published as Sea Monsters: The Lore and Legacy of Olaus Magnus’s Marine Map by Ivy Press in the U.K. and Commonwealth, Joseph Negg’s book focuses on a single sixteenth-century map and its many illustrations of seagoing critters: the Carta Marina (1539) by Swedish ecclesiastic Olaus Magnus. My blog post.
- Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas
by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker
University of California Press, November (hardcover, paperback)
- Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps
by Chet Van Duzer
The British Library, June (hardcover)
The other book about sea monsters on maps this year. Van Duzer catalogues the monsters on maps from the 10th to the 16th centuries in exhaustive detail, even bringing in natural history and economics to understand why and how monsters appeared on maps. Read my review.