Discover the mysteries within ancient maps — Where exploration and mythology meet
This richly illustrated book collects and explores the colorful histories behind a striking range of real antique maps that are all in some way a little too good to be true.
Mysteries within ancient maps: The Phantom Atlas is a guide to the world not as it is, but as it was imagined to be. It's a world of ghost islands, invisible mountain ranges, mythical civilizations, ship-wrecking beasts, and other fictitious features introduced on maps and atlases through mistakes, misunderstanding, fantasies, and outright lies.
Where exploration and mythology meet: Author Edward Brooke-Hitching is a map collector, author, writer for the popular BBC Television program QI and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He lives in a dusty heap of old maps and books in London investigating the places where exploration and mythology meet.
Cartography’s greatest phantoms: The Phantom Atlas uses gorgeous atlas images as springboards for tales of deranged buccaneers, seafaring monks, heroes, swindlers, and other amazing stories behind cartography's greatest phantoms.
If you are a fan of this popular genre and a reader of books such as Prisoners of Geography, Atlas of Ancient Rome, Atlas Obscura, What If, Book of General Ignorance, or Thing Explainer, your will love The Phantom Atlas
This collection of cartographic errors from maps throughout history provides an entertaining glimpse into the spread of misinformation during the age of exploration. Brooke-Hitching (Fox Tossing) arranges his subjects alphabetically and begins with the "Strait of Anian," a misconceived western terminus to the Northwest Passage from the 14th century, and ends with the "Zeno Map," based on an unsubstantiated exploration of the North Atlantic by the Zeno brothers in the 15th century. Reproductions of mistaken maps accompany each entry, along with theories of the errors' possible origins and accounts of their final erasures from the annals of geography. Some entries are for places that exist, but at one point were improperly described, as with a California that appears as its own island on hundreds of maps from the 17th and 18th centuries, a mistake that the author tracks back to the 1602 voyage of Sebastian Vizca no. Though much of the book covers familiar ground in documenting accounts of nonexistent lands such as Atlantis, El Dorado, Hy Brasil, and Thule, a section on the fantastic creatures, including the Sea Pig and the Hippocentaur, that appear in the marginalia of many maps sets this atlas apart from the mass of other books on the subject. Cartophiles will find much to amuse themselves. Color illus.