Victorian Maps of the British Isles by David Smith

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Victorian Maps of the British Isles by David Smith

pp. 176. 8 colour plates & many black & white illustrations. cloth. dw. (head of spine bit bumped, otherwise as new) London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1985.

ISBN-10: 071344178X / ISBN-13: 9780713441789

Maps in the Victorian era underwent rapid changes in production methods, and were designed for many new purposes, so reflecting wider economic and social developments. David Smith's book is the first to address itself fully to all kinds of maps of the period 1837-1900, most of which are still relatively plentiful and accessible to the collector.
The evolution of production method is examined in detail - the mechanical and chemical improvements in copper engraving, the development of electrotyping, the introduction of lithography, chromolithography and photolithography, new technology in paper manufacture. These changes offered new possibilities of presentation and content, and the author considers the use of conventional signs orthography, decoration, and the representation of boundaries, antiquities and relief. He traces also the growing sophistication of hand colouring until its replacement by lithographed colour.
Topographical maps of this period included plans of estates, enclosures, parishes, and urban improvement schemes - but there were also plans produced to represent scientific, statistical, medical and commercial data. The growth of the many type of transport, excursion and communication maps is related to technical, economic and social developments, as are those aimed specifically at children, huntsmen, cyclists, sportsmen, churchmen, social scientists and temperance propagandists.