The World at Their Fingertips: Eighteenth-century British Two-sheet Double-hemisphere World Maps

Author(s): Geoff Armitage


Between 1680 and 1807 British publishers produced a sequence of double-hemisphere world maps each printed on two sheets and conjoined. These maps are a peculiarly British phenomenon of this period and they provide a key indicator of the way the British map trade specifically targeted a newly prosperous and upwardly aspiring class of purchasers. The buyers were hungry for geographical information, but were also eager to acquire such maps for display, as a statement of their intellectual pursuits. The scientific appearance of the maps was more important as a selling point than standards of contemporary geographical accuracy, which few of them achieved. This is the first time that this type of map has been studied as a genre, partly because of their great rarity. The British Library holds the most comprehensive collection of these maps and studying them together has enabled the identification of broader themes. In particular, a greater understanding of the British map trade in the 18th century, its business practices, the economics of map-making and new techniques of marketing emerges.


Available Stock:

Add to Wishlist

Product Information

Geoff Armitage has worked in the Maps Collection at the British Library for over 20 years. His previous books include The Shadow of the Moon: British Solar Eclipse Mapping in the Eighteenth Century (1997). Ashley Baynton-Williams is an antiquarian map dealer and researcher, and author of several other books including Maps of War (2007), New Worlds: Maps from the Age of Discovery (2006), Maps of North America (2008), and British Map Engravers: A dictionary of engravers, lithographers and their principal employers to 1850 (2011).

General Fields

  • : 9780712358774
  • : The British Library Publishing Division
  • : The British Library Publishing Division
  • : July 2012
  • : 240mm X 310mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 912.42
  • : 256
  • : 100 colour, 50 black and white illustrations
  • : Geoff Armitage
  • : Hardback