5 December 2008
OGILBY, John (1600-1676). Britannia, Volume the First: or, An Illustration of the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales. London: by the author, 1675.
2o (403 x 275 mm). Title-page printed in red and black. Engraved frontispiece, double-page general map and 100 double-page strip road maps with cartouches (small tear in cartouche of plate 89, some spotting, a few pale stains). Modern half leather, preserving 19th-century marbled boards (endpapers renewed).
"THE FIRST MAJOR ADVANCE IN CARTOGRAPHY SINCE THE TUDOR PERIOD" (DNB)
FIRST EDITION, the second issue with 28 pages of preliminaries, without the dedication to Archbishop Gilbert, D1r ("Of the city of London") has the catchword: "132," plates numbered. All published. "Ogilby secured the... title of His Majesty's Cosmographer early in 1671 [and] drew upon the support of the King and other patrons in the production and publication of Britannia..., the work for which he became best known. Chiefly a road atlas, it was securely based on contemporary and collaborative research... Ogilby drew out 2519 miles of road in the form of 100 strip maps, a technique that was widely imitated throughout the following century. Measuring distances by waywiser (his "great wheel"), he made allowance for roads that ascended hills yet had to be depicted in two dimensions on paper, and his surveys helped to standardize the mile at 1760 yards throughout the kingdom. Britannia marked the first major advance in cartography in England since the Tudor period, though it did echo earlier traditions. It was republished in 1698, 1719, and 1720, and on subsequent occasions up to modern times" (DNB).Wing O-168.
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