Mapping the World" by Michael Swift, New Jersey : Chartwell, 2006. 256 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 31 x 43 cm. (12.5 x 17.5 in.) Landscape in format, this is a coffee table book full of glorious colour plates of maps from the earliest times (cartographically speaking) - from 1200-1085 B.C. to the end of the 19th century. Michael Swift is the pen name of a London publisher who writes about cartography and while this is more coffee table style with brief captions rather than a learned look at maps, it is certainly a feast for the eyes. Michael Swift does give an introduction to the subject but, disappointingly doesn't provide an index. This is a serious omission (my cataloguing prejudices showing) but I'm in a forgiving mood, and I did find the book on the remaindered shelf, after all. As some of the maps depict 16th century marine animals - my favourite subject - I couldn't resist. The photos show the front and back covers. As with so many books cheaply published (and sadly many that cost the earth), this book is badly constructed. Machine sewn, the sections appear to be glued together, with a narrow strip of mull holding the book, which is large and heavy, and without careful use the text block will fall out of the covers.
1 day ago