A Book Roundup

Courtiers and Cannibals An unusual book forthcoming from Hes & de Graaf: Courtiers and Cannibals, Angels and Amazons: The Art of the Decorative Cartographic Title-Page. “Over the time period covered by the present publication — roughly from the 1470s to the 1870s — very many printed books opened with an attractive decorative title page or frontispiece; sometimes both. In this book a limited selection has been made from the extremely wide field of known title pages, mainly by a focus on subject matter which is primarily cartography, geography, history and topography, together with associated disciplines such as astronomy, travel and exploration.” (Maps and More)

Vincent Virga’s Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations draws from the Library of Congress’s map collection. CSPAN’s BookTV has video about the book, but it’s in Real format. (Map the Universe)

Every publisher of a full-size comprehensive atlas also has a concise, compact version, for those of us who can’t afford the larger atlas’s price tag or concomitant hernia. Last month the National Geographic blog announced the concise version of its atlas, which came out in November.

The University of Chicago Press’s spring catalogue includes the following provocative titles: The Natures of Maps: Cartographic Constructions of the Natural World by Denis Wood and John Fels (about the subjectivity of maps of the natural world); Coast Lines: How Mapmakes Frame the World and Chart Environmental Change by Mark Monmonier (who would have thought that mapping shorelines could be so contentious?); Bill Hubbard’s American Boundaries: The Nation, the States, the Rectangular Survey; and Alfred Hiatt’s Terra Incognita: Mapping the Antipodes Before 1600.

Going to Texas: Five Centuries of Texas Maps “illustrates the history of the Lone Star State through color plates of sixty-four historic Texas maps from the Marty and Yana Davis Map Collection in Alpine,” says the Mexia Daily News. The book “is to be used as a catalog which will accompany the collection as it is exhibited in ten museums throughout the Southwest over a period of two years.”

Finally, I’m late in mentioning this New York Times article, which briefly mentions a total of nine recent books about maps.