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Drawing on the British Library’s vast cartographical collections Tom Harper has produced what he describes as ‘an atlas of time travel’:
a route to understanding how past cultures conceptualised the world.
Here, maps become more than functional objects and transform into ‘vehicles of meaning’. The utility of maps is not neglected, and there is much to be gleaned from 15th century invasion maps of Scotland, charts of 17th century French post-roads or the fascinating jigsaw maps created to teach geography to well heeled 18th century children. Also shown is devotional cartography’ that allowed expressions of faith, and fantasy maps of imagined places.
Everything from Nelson’s scruffy sketches of Egypt to the Klencke Atlas presented to Charles II – a monster of a tome, four yards long, which was an exercise in showing off. Best of all are the samples that you’d be privileged to hang on your wall and which truly are works of art: 17th century Japanese maps painted on silk or 1790s watercolours of Ontario portrayed on birchbark.
Lots of compelling stories are also recounted, from the Dutch stealing charts from the Portuguese during the days of competition in east Asia, to Jesuit missionaries producing maps and globes to impress their Chinese hosts. Harper asks the basic question: what is a map? It could be an astonishingly detailed depiction of Old Delhi produced by local draftsmen, or a chart of 1930s Johannesburg commissioned by an insurance company.
Pick this book up at dawn and you won’t be able to put it down until dusk.
NZ$55.00 + Delivery.
The world's oceans cover just over 70.8 per cent of the Earth's surface, and yet we know more about the moon then what lies beneath these dark waters.
As early as 5000 BC, efforts have been made to map these oceans, establish trade routes and discover new lands. In more recent years, this energy has focused downwards, into the ocean's inky depths and shadowy seabeds.
Award winning writer Carolyn Fry explores all of the above, narrating centuries of maritime exploration - from James Cook to James Cameron - and the fascinating discoveries have helped to map the world.
This beautifully illustrated full-color book includes an incredible selection of rare maps from their archives, from historic sea charts to topographic maps of the ocean floor. Combining remarkable history with pioneering science.
NZ$45.00 + Delivery.
An atlas of the world not as it ever existed, but as it was thought to be.
These marvellous and mysterious phantoms - non-existent islands, invented mountain ranges, mythical civilisations and other fictitious geography -
were all at various times presented as facts on maps and atlases.
Exploration, map-making and mythology are all brought together to create a colourful tapestry of monsters, heroes and volcanoes; swindlers, mirages and murderers.
(Sometimes the stories are almost impossible to believe, and remarkably, some of the errors were still on display in maps published in the 21st century.)
The Phantom Atlas is a beautifully produced volume, packed with stunning maps and drawings of places and people that never existed.
The remarkable stories behind them all are brilliantly told by Edward Brooke-Hitching in a book that will appeal to cartophiles everywhere.
NZ$65.00 + Delivery.
In Island Dreams, Gavin Francis examines our collective fascination with islands. He blends stories of his own travels with psychology, philosophy and great voyages from literature, shedding new light on the importance of islands and isolation in our collective consciousness.
Comparing the life of freedom of thirty years of extraordinary travel from the Faroe Islands to the Aegean, from the Galapagos to the Andaman Islands with a life of responsibility as a doctor, community member and parent approaching middle age.
Illustrated with maps throughout, this is a celebration of human adventures in the world and within our minds.
NZ$45.00 + Delivery.
A spectacular visual history of exploration and cartography, a treasure chest of adventures from the chronicles of global discovery, illustrated with a selection of the most beautiful maps ever created.
The book reveals how the world came to be known, featuring a magnificent gallery of exceptionally rare hand-coloured antique maps, paintings and engravings, many of which can only be found in the author's collection. Arranged chronologically, the reader is taken on a breathtaking expedition through Ancient Babylonian geography and Marco Polo's journey to the Mongol Khan on to buccaneers ransacking the Caribbean and the voyages of seafarers such as Captain Cook and fearless African pathfinders.
Their stories are told in an engaging and compelling style, bringing vividly to life a motley collection of heroic explorers, treasure-hunters and death-dealing villains - all of them accompanied by eye-grabbing illustrations from rare maps, charts and manuscripts.
The Golden Atlas takes you back to a world of darkness and peril, placing you on storm-lashed ships, frozen wastelands and the shores of hostile territories to see how the lines were drawn to form the shape of the modern world.
NZ$55.00 + Delivery.
If you centre a globe on Kiritimati (Christmas Island), all you see around it is a vast expanse of ocean. Islands of various sizes float in view while glimpses of continents encroach on the fringes, but this is a view dominated by water. The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea.
The rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. With entries covering mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean, Pacific builds on recent interest in the voyages of James Cook to tell a broader history.
This visually stunning publication highlights the importance of an ocean that covers very nearly a third of the surface of the globe, and which has dramatically shaped the world and people around it.
NZ$50.00 + Delivery.
The sea has been an endless source of fascination, at once both alluring and mysterious, a place of wonder and terror. The Sea Journal contains first-hand records by a great range of travellers of their encounters with strange creatures and new lands, full of dangers and delights, pleasures and perils.
In this remarkable gathering of private journals, log books, letters and diaries, we follow the voyages of intrepid sailors, from the frozen polar wastes to South Seas paradise islands, as they set down their immediate impressions of all they saw. They capture their experiences while at sea, giving us a precious view of the oceans and the creatures that live in them as they were when they were scarcely known and right up to the present day. In a series of biographical portraits, we meet officers and ordinary sailors, cooks and whalers, surgeons and artists, explorers and adventurers. A handful of contemporary mariners provide their thoughts on how keeping a journal remains integral to their voyaging lives.
Often still bearing the traces of their nautical past, the intriguing and enchanting sketches and drawings in this book brilliantly capture the spirit of the oceans and the magic of the sea.
NZ$70.00 + Delivery.
Despite dramatic advances in technology and equipment over the centuries, there is one vital piece of kit in most explorers’ pockets that hasn’t changed much at all – the journal.
The sketchbooks and journals presented here allow us the opportunity to share, through their own eyes and thoughts, the on-the-spot reactions of around 70 intrepid individuals as they journeyed into frozen waters, high mountains, barren deserts and rich rainforests. Some are well known, such as Captain Scott, Charles Darwin, Thor Heyerdahl and Abel Tasman; others are unfamiliar, including Adela Breton, who braved the jungles of Mexico to make an unparalleled record of Maya monuments, and Alexandrine Tinne, who died in her attempt to be the first woman to cross the Sahara. Here are pioneering explorers and map-makers, botanists and artists, ecologists and anthropologists, eccentrics and visionaries, men and women. A handful of living explorers, including Wade Davis, provide their thoughts on the art of exploration.
Often battered and neglected, stored away and perhaps long forgotten, many of these sketchbooks have themselves awaited rediscovery. Now is the chance to open them again.
NZ$70.00 + Delivery.
An ancient Chinese proverb suggests, "They are wise parents who give their children roots and wings - and a map." Maps That Changed the World features some of the world's most famous maps, stretching back to a time when cartography was in its infancy and the 'edge of the world' was a barrier to exploration. The book includes details of how the Lewis and Clark Expedition helped map the American West, and how the British mapped India and Australia. Included are the beautifully engraved Dutch maps of the 16th century; the sinister Utopian maps of the Nazis; the maps that presaged brilliant military campaigns; charted the geology of a nation; and the ones that divided a continent up between its European conquerors.
Organised by theme, the book shows the evolution of map-making from all corners of the globe, from ancient clay maps, to cartographic breakthroughs such as Harry Beck's map of the London underground. There are also famous fictional maps, including the maps of the lost continent of Atlantis and Tolkien's Middle Earth.
NZ$36.00 + Delivery.
The world took shape through the development of the sea chart and its visual representation of European exploration and trade, conquest and colonization. While the early maps and charts are absorbing in their often fantastic and distorted views of newly discovered lands, the surveying work in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by men such as Cook, Vancouver and Flinders, in small open boats along treacherous stretches of coastline, intrigue and make us wonder just how they achieved such extraordinary levels of accuracy.
This book examines the history of the sea chart in both aesthetic and scientific terms. The illustrations include the early portolan charts of the fifteenth century, original manuscript charts of Europe, India and the Orient, and nautical maps that show the medieval view of the known world. Others illustrate the ships’ tracks of the Arctic and Antarctic explorers, the buccaneer’s view of colonial South America and the meticulous surveys of the coastlines of North America and Australia. Pages are further enhanced with navigational views, extracts from master’s remark books and sailing directions and accounts of voyages.
This second edition has been expanded to include more than 40 further illustrations. They add to our understanding of the medieval world that intrepid explorers from Spain, Portugal and then Holland, France and Britain charted. Groping their way across the oceans with discovery after discovery they threw back the boundaries of geographical knowledge, presenting them to an eager Europe of monarchs, princes, traders and thinkers.
NZ$50.00 + Delivery.
The text explores who the mapmakers were, the purposes for which the maps were made, and what it tells us about the politics of the time. Great images are accompanied by compelling stories. Featured is a woodcut map of 16th Century London, a map of where the bombs fell during the Second World War, and a map the first American settlers' drew when they were attempting to establish a new empire on Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina.
Richly illustrated with large scale reproductions of the maps, the book also includes some of the more amusing or esoteric maps from the National Archives, such as the map of the Great Exhibition in 1851 that was presented on a lady's glove, a London Underground map in the form of a cucumber, and a Treasure Island map used to advertise National Savings.
This is a fascinating and unusual journey through the world of maps and mapmakers.
NZ$75.00 + delivery.
A modern, objective appraisal of the development of seamanship among the major navies of the world from the 17th to the 19th century.
Numerous successful reprints of contemporary works on rigging and seamanship indicate the breadth of interest in the lost art of handling square-rigged ships. Modelmakers, marine painters and enthusiasts need to know not only how the ships were rigged but how much sail was set in each condition of wind and sea, how the various manoeuvres were carried out, and the intricacies of operations like reefing sails or 'catting' an anchor. Contemporary treatises such as Brady's Kedge Anchor in the USA or Darcy Lever's Sheet Anchor in Britain tell only half the story, for they were training manuals intended to be used at sea in conjunction with practical experiences and often only cover officially-condoned practices.
This book, on the other hand, is a modern, objective appraisal of the evidence, concerned with the actualities as much as the theory. The author has studied virtually every manual published about seamanship over a period of nearly four centuries. This gives the book a completely international balance and allows him to describe for the first time the proper historical development of seamanship among the major navies of the world.
NZ$110.00 + Delivery.
The Anne was launched in 1678 and was lost in 1690 at the battle of Beachy Head.
Although the importance of Beachy Head ranks alongside the Armada Campaign and the Battle of Trafalgar, it was not a glorious victory to celebrate and be remembered. In fact, the outnumbered English and Dutch allies were forced into ignomimious retreat during which the dismasted Anne was run ashore between Rye and Hastings and burnt to prevent capture. She was the only British loss although many Dutch ships were abandoned, burned and sunk.
Ship's historian and draughtsman Richard Endsor has written a meticulously researched account and history of this wonderful and accessible seventeenth century Warship. and the beautiful and accurate drawings and paintings bring this Flagship, from the era of Charles II to life.
Intriguingly, the wreck can still be seen at Hastings on the UK's south coast at low tide where the receding waves reveal the remarkably complete mortal remains.
Today the wreck is owned by the Shipwreck Museum at Hastings and in the past few years there have been some attempts to bring the ship back to life using advanced simulation and modeling techniques.
NZ$40.00 + Delivery.