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Description

Highly detailed engraved antique map of Africa, published in Edinburgh in 1817. 

The map reflects the recently-accepted lack of European knowledge about the interior of the continent. Before the beginning of the 19th century, European cartographers were given to indulging myth and speculation when it came to Africa. That began to fade away with the French at the end of the 18th century and most famously with Aaron Arrowsmith at the beginning of the 19th. This map follows in that tradition, though the Mountains of the Moon and the Mountains of Kong persist as definitely as ever.

From John Thomson's New General Atlas.

Condition Description
Original hand-color.
John Thomson Biography

John Thomson (1777-ca. 1840) was a commercial map publisher active in Edinburgh. He specialized in guide books and atlases and is primarily known for his Atlas of Scotland (1832) and the New General Atlas, first published in 1817 and reissued for the next quarter century. The New General Atlas was a commercial success—it was also published in Dublin and London—and it compiled existing geographic knowledge in compelling ways for a wide audience.

His Atlas of Scotland introduced new geographic information and was the first large-scale atlas of Scotland to be organized by county. It provided the most-accurate view of Scotland available before the Clearances. Work on the atlas began in 1820 and led to Thomson’s bankruptcy in 1830 due to the high costs of gathering the latest surveys and reviewing the required materials. Despite the publication of the atlas, Thomson declared bankruptcy again in 1835.