Historical Atlases Come of Age

in Historical Atlases

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226300719
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226300726 | DOI:
Historical Atlases Come of Age

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The century whose opening Napoleon dominated also witnessed at its start two makers of maps for history who achieved remarkable commercial success and, in doing so, set an example that their peers could hardly avoid noticing. The Atlas Lesage is largely detached from the historical atlases of its time. Many of its “maps” consist entirely of letterpress. There is no sequence of geographic images at successive intervals of history. The layout of the entire Atlas Lesage stemmed from the then-standard geographic atlas of the world rather than from the collections of “sequential” historical maps. Las Cases preferred synchronic maps to sequential ones. The Atlas Lesage reproduces Speed's battles map in an attenuated form. Historical atlases organized by country, or subdivided into general and particular maps, were much more common in 1846, when Spruner's great volume of maps for European history reached its sixth and last installment, than when the opening installment had been issued nearly a decade earlier.

Keywords: Atlas Lesage; maps; historical atlases; European history; geographic atlas

Chapter.  32059 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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