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Like countless other readers, Miles Harvey, a writer for Outside magazine, encountered the news of Bland's arrest as a brief item in the back pages of the morning newspaper. The story stayed with Harvey, who wondered why otherwise law-abiding people behave so badly around antiquities. In The Island of Lost Maps, a wonderfully rich excursion into the demimonde of what might be called cartographomania, Harvey follows Bland's tracks from library to library, reconstructing the crimes of the man he deems the Al Capone of map theft, following the contours of Bland's complex, sinister character. Along the way, Harvey examines the history of cartography generally, and the ravenous market for old maps--once the quiet province of a few knowing collectors, now invaded by speculators. These maps are just another corner of the overpriced status-symbol commodity market--and one that richly rewarded Bland's nefarious work.
Harvey's winding narrative, full of learned detours, adds up to a superbly rendered tale of true crime (and, many readers might object, of insufficient punishment), one that will appeal to book lovers and mystery buffs in equal measure. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A good narratives and historical account of a little-known, but very serious problem affecting the cultures of Western civilization. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Paul Warren
This quirky, funny, often wonderfully intense book is a history-crime thriller and psychoanalytic study all rolled into one. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Herbert L Calhoun
hard to stop a theft, if you don't even miss the treasure you are responsibil for.Published 28 days ago by rebecca barwick
Mesmerizing. A map thief and his pursuer. A mystery and the kind of multifaceted book that keeps on giving in subsequent reads. Harvey is a master of the form.Published 15 months ago by William
I saw this book recommended in a homeschooling magazine and got it from the library to see if it would be interesting for my students. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jill
Enjoyed all the history and information on maps of antiquity. Interesting read about fist maps, explorers, their sponsers as well as libraries that house these invaluable works. Read morePublished 19 months ago by margaret bendel
It's a fascinating look at map-making--it's history and technological advancements.
In researching a criminal, the author stumbles into a study of obsession. Read more
...this a must. I heard about this book when it came out and so glad I finally arrived to it on my 'to read' list. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Linda Ann Nolan