From time to time, a cartography book appears which becomes an immediate "classic." So it is with this book, which has become the bible of early celestial maps. An introductory essay is followed by individual entries consisting of bibliographical information, often accompanied by an illustration. The entries are alphabetical and unnumbered. I would have preferred more illustrations, but those present are nonetheless a feast for the eyes. I enjoy harping about how early cartographers were able to combine function with beauty, and this book certainly illustrates my point. Perusing books like this should be a requirement for any degree in cartography. Perhaps modern maps and atlases would then be a little less boring. The culprits responsible for such offenses to the eye and spirit will respond that making a map beautiful would be "unscientific." That of course is the excuse of a lazy mind whose outstanding characteristic is a lack of aesthetic sensibilities. Returning to the topic at hand, this is the book for anyone whose cartographic interests incline heavenward. It is authoritative and well-researched. Most catalogs cite this work when offering celestial charts for sale.
David C. Jolly, 1986
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