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Dawson, Joan, The Mapmaker's Eye: Nova Scotia through Early Maps. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing Ltd. & The Nova Scotia Museum, 1988. ISBN-0-921054-12-2. 12 x 9 inches, ix, 156pp., illustrated, paper.

The author calls this work "a cartographical approach to the history of Nova Scotia," and the work indeed provides a history of the region's mapping interwoven with an entertaining overall history.  Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as fishing, mineral resources, or fortifications.  Illustrated maps include those of Ramusio, Zaltieri, Champlain, Southacke, Bellin, Des Barres, Jefferys, and, of course, the Porcupine Map from Gentleman's Magazine.  Many manuscript maps from various foreign archives are illustrated.  The work actually exceeds its Nova Scotian mandate by providing an interesting history of the fortification of Louisburg, illustrated with some French manuscript maps.  On a less sweeping level, I have always wondered why Lunenburg had a continental ring to it.  Apparently it was founded as a refuge for Protestants from the continent.  I was surprised to find that Piscataqua was not an Indian name, but rather a hybrid of the Latin words for fish and water.  Certainly this work will be useful to those interested in the early discovery and settlement of the Maritimes, but those with more general interests will find many fascinating cartographical tidbits.

David C. Jolly, 1992

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