It was bound to happen sooner or later. For centuries the English speakers of the world have obstinately refused to learn any other languages. That perseverance has now borne fruit. The rest of the world seems to be throwing in the towel, with more and more books being published in English. A good example is this work originally written in Dutch, and translated into English for publication. Despite the title, globes of many nations are included. There is a fine introductory essay on the history of globes, followed by a census of globes in Holland, 340 in all. Each entry contains bibliographical information. Unlike paper maps, "bibliographical" information about globes must include details of construction and mounting. There are many illustrations, including eight very beautiful color plates. Latin inscriptions are translated into English, a handy feature. Early globes are extremely scarce, seldom encountered by the collector, and when encountered the price is often beyond reach. The few surviving globes are an important part of our western heritage. Many of the globes described are of almost hypnotic beauty. As usual, the older globes seem more beautiful. With the passage of time, the scientific cartographers have emphasized the functional and disparaged that which pleases the eye. This is a fine book. If you are unable to afford a set of Blaeu, Coronelli or Hondius globes for your drawing room, buy this book as the next best substitute.
David C. Jolly, 1986
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