Consisting of 21 essays, this work covers Canadian mapping from its beginnings into the 20th century. The book's numerous illustrations include Pitt's North Pole, De l'Isle's New France, Mason's Newfoundland, and more recent maps by Laurie & Whittle, Arrowsmith, etc. Like any collection of essays, not every essay will be interesting to every reader. Among those I enjoyed was one on maps as sources of historical evidence, which mentioned the late Charles Hapgood, about whom I once published a fond essay myself. Also of interest to me were an essay on Cabot's landfall, one on maps relating to Cook's third voyage, and one on the “cartographical revolution of 1775." The latter compares the earlier, inaccurate, and dangerous maps of Mount & Page, et al. with the maps of Des Barres et al. for the Nova Scotia region. Other essays deal with the interior and west coast. One essay discusses the insurance maps of Charles Goad, providing an excellent summary of his career. He had a strong Canadian connection, and his maps occasionally appear on the market. The first chapter contains a very useful list of about 200 articles and books on early Canadian cartography.
David C. Jolly, 1992
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