Character Mapping

Geography Bewitched!I’ve always been a fan of maps – they’re beautiful things, carefully crafted by the cartographer – and for preference, the older a map is the better because it tells you as much about history as geography.

What with Google Maps, SatNavs and the like, we seem to have lost our way with maps these days. Which is ironic when you think about it.

You can convey much information with a map than mere contour maps and trig points. One of my favourites isn’t really a map, but Charles Minard’s visual representation of Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812 can tell you pretty much all you need to know about how disastrous it was.

But you can’t really beat the social commentary maps of the 19th and 20th centuries. Above is a caricature of England and Wales from the Robert Dighton’s Geography Bewitched in the 1820s, showing England as a jolly old soul, quaffing beer and riding a dolphin (supposedly), while poor old Wales is no more than a cloak to keep him warm.

This map can be yours for £1,500 from the London Map Fair which runs for two days next week, and that is one of the cheaper examples from the golden age of caricature maps. However, below are a few more examples to enjoy for free.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

1 comment… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 31st May 2016

    I am also a map lover. One of my A level subjects was Geography in which I achieved an A grade when A grades meant something and nowadays I love working out circular walks via Ordnance Survey mapping. I own lots of maps and so I appreciated this blogpost. Thank you.


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