This book is distinguished by the excellence of their color reproductions. The high resolution, allowing tiny inscriptions to be read, and the excellent color printing are a departure from many hastily produced books. This work is arranged geographically, with chapters on the world, America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The illustrations accompanying each section are in some cases familiar, but a number of seldom-reproduced printed and manuscript maps also appear. Each illustration is accompanied by a well-crafted essay containing much information, some of it obscure, but practically all of it interesting. This is not a reference book in the sense of Tooley's Maps and Mapmakers but should be viewed as an enjoyable ramble through the world of early maps. On a more mercenary note, I have been approached by non-collectors who wish to purchase items they have seen in these Abbeville books. Books such as these help attract new collectors. This particular work is a pleasure to the eyes and a stimulant to the mind. The price is more than reasonable, and the book is recommended for anyone with a general interest in early cartography.
David C. Jolly, 1985
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