The British Isles

The British Isles 
National Geographic, April 1949
Editor Gilbert Grosvenor
28.2 miles to an inch

hello everyone, 

Welcome back to campus! I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing October break and is having an enjoyable halloween😈! Since one of the origin myths of Halloween traces back to the Celtic celebration of Samhain, I would like to feature this artistically illustrated map of the British Isles by National Geographic Magazine as this week’s map of the week! 

This fabulously designed map of the British Isles published in 1949 seems to be a reproduction of a 1937 National Geographic map (which we also have in our collection) with a few minor editions. Like many other National Geographic maps, this informative map presents the cultural history of the British Isles and highlights places of interest in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Specifically, as the legend shows, cathedrals, ruins, battlefields, and castles are marked out on the map for perhaps educational purposes.

On its elaborately illustrated map frame, this map features the sceneries of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland on the four corners; the coats of arms of the capital cities; and the sketches of important historical figures and places on four sides. The antique design of this map–like the wind-blowing heads on the top of the map, the engraving of currents on the lower left corner, and even the fruitful design of the frames–reminds one of the maps in the early Modern era. More than just an informative map, this British Isles map may also be seen as a work of art.

Happy halloween  “ψ (`∇´) ψ

Yidan Xu ’24