By Jerry Brotton and Nick Millea
This extraordinary book gives informed insight into maps, map making and map makers, revealing that maps represent more than two dimensional plans to a location. As the foreword says, they are ‘… proposals about the world, seductive arguments helping people understand who they are by describing where they are.’
Drawn from the collection in The Bodleian, Oxford, these Talking Maps reach back over a thousand years and still have the most remarkable capacity to speak to us. The book is divided into ten chapters, starting with Orientation and progressing to The World on the Move, via Sacred Topographies and Imaginary Plots. There is also a chapter on Oxford, which has been extensively mapped, culminating in a 1973 Soviet map. Examples vary from the pure delineation of al-Istakhri’s 1297 world map, to the iconic Aztec map of Tenochtitlan (1542) and Grayson Perry’s Map of Nowhere. Imaginary maps are also included: views of Narnia, a plan of Treasure Island, as are the bizarre stick charts used for inter-island navigation in Micronesia.
To sum up, using the title of a 12th-century book on maps, this book is Entertainment for He who longs to Travel the World.
Dimension: H:27cm, W:27cm, D:2.5cm
Illustrations: Over a 100 colour photographs