New Books for May 2018

Art

Helen Cann’s How to Make Hand Drawn Maps: A Creative Guide With Tips, Tricks, and Projects (Chronicle, 1 May paperback, 22 May ebook). “With wonderful examples and easy-to-follow instructions, this beautifully illustrated how-to book makes it simple and fun to create one-of-a-kind hand-drawn maps. Helpful templates, grids, and guidelines complement a detailed breakdown of essential cartographic elements and profiles of talented international map artists.” Amazon, iBooks

Academic Monographs

I trained as a historian of the French Third Republic, so Kory Olson’s The Cartographic Capital: Mapping Third Republic Paris, 1889-1934 (Liverpool University Press, 4 May), which “looks at how government presentations of Paris and environs change over the course of the Third Republic (1889-1934),” would have very much been up my alley twenty years ago. “The government initially seemed to privilege an exclusively positive view of the capital city and limited its presentation of it to land inside the walled fortifications. However, as the Republic progressed and Paris grew, technology altered how Parisians used and understood their urban space.” Amazon

Chris Barrett’s Early Modern English Literature and the Poetics of Cartographic Anxiety (Oxford University Press, 22 May) is about “the many anxieties provoked by early modern maps and mapping in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A product of a military arms race, often deployed for security and surveillance purposes, and fundamentally distortive of their subjects, maps provoked suspicion, unease, and even hostility in early modern Britain. […]  This volume explores three major poems of the period—Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596), Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion (1612, 1622), and John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667, 1674)—in terms of their vexed and vexing relationships with cartographic materials.” Amazon, iBooks

Related: Map Books of 2018.

Literary Selections on Cartography

Literary Selections on Cartography was a series of letterpress broadsheets published by the History of Cartography project. A total of 23 appeared between 1992 and 2015; they included poetry and snippets from longer works, and were sometimes accompanied by commentaries. The move of Silver Buckle Press from the University of Wisconsin—Madison to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum will put an end to any future Literary Selections, in letterpress form at least, but the complete set so far is available online. [via]

Previously: Maps and Poetry.

Maps and Poetry

I’m not alone in looking at the use of maps in fantasy literature; Hunter College classics professor Adele Haft, on the other hand, has been studying something a bit more singular: the use of maps in modern poetry. According to her CV she’s published a number of papers on poems like “The Map” by Elizabeth Bishop; more recently she’s been publishing, in Cartographic Perspectives, a multi-part study of Australian poet Kenneth Slessor’s poetic sequence The Atlas: introduction, part one, part two, part three, part four.