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Historical & Curious Maps (Agile Rabbit Editions) Paperback – April 1, 2005
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All adventurers and explorers should have this book. As GPS and Google require batteries, this book only requires your hands.
If you're looking for a very elegant and intelligent coffee table book or as a gift for a map aficionado, or even to relax imagining faraway places and bygone ages, then I definitively recommend this book for you. But this work as a huge flaw! In its cover the title mentions "...Historical and curious Maps". So if you're interested in knowing anything about the hundreds of maps provided, including the maker, some important subtitles, political situation for certain satirical maps, how they were found, etc, you won't find anything of the sort here, even the dates are frequently unmentioned. You just have the maps, a back index with the country and sometimes with the date, and the very good computer files.
Just as an example how this can be annoying: in page 46 you have fascinating Native American pictographs, but you don't have the date, context or location...so far as I know it could have been drawn by a Native American child in 1998 (with very small historical relevance, except for their parents) or an amazing 1750 find representing early mapping efforts from the Navaho tribe. You just don't know!!!
If this book had been published in 1990 it would be a treasure indeed. There were few published inexpensive resources like this one. But this is a 2005 product. Let's face it: Anyone can find Hi-Res ancient and old maps for free nowadays; so this book should have a few more pages summarily describing the wonderful published maps and charts (if there were page limitations, the publisher could have used the CD-ROM to provide the extra information).
The book contains more than a hundred maps of all kind - antique maps of lands, cities, or journeys, geographical, political, theological, and even humorous maps. The book is well printed and a real pleasure to hold in hands. The CD with all the maps is a real gem, hi-res images allow for the readers to explore many maps in great details.
The only real minus is that the book has 0 (zero) information on the maps, besides the title and (sometimes) the year of publication. It is not an academic study in any sense, rather, it 's just a lovely and inspirational compilation of really interesting maps.