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Britannia Depicta or Ogilby Improv'd

OGILBY, John (1600-1676)] - BOWEN, Emanuel (1694-1767) and John OWEN.

Published by London: Thomas Bowles, 1736., 1736
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4to., (8 x 5 6/8 inches). 4 leaves of tables. Engraved title-page and 273 engraved road maps after Emanuel Bowen. Contemporary calf gilt (a bit rubbed). Provenance: 19th-century North Library bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield on the front paste-down dated 1860, discreet blind-stamp on first three leaves. Fourth edition, first published in 1720 in its current format, but a reduced version of Ogilby's "Britannia" first published in London in 1675. "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). This is one of Emanuel Bowen's earlier works, and his contribution to eighteenth-century world and British atlases would be substantial. Using contemporary sources, he published and drew maps for the "Complete System of Geography" (2 vols., 1744-7), "The Maps and Charts to the Modern Part of the Universal History" (published in 1766 under Thomas Kitchin's name), the celebrated maps for John Harris's "Navigantium atque itinerantium bibliotheca" (1744-8), and all twenty-two new plates in the final edition (1754) of Patrick Gordon's "Geography Anatomized", the county maps in his "Large English Atlas" (1760) the first to cover England and Wales on a large scale, and subsequently reduced by Bowen and Kitchin for their "Royal English Atlas" (ca.1763) and then by Emanuel and Thomas Bowen for "Atlas Anglicanus" (1767-8), published after Emanuel Bowen's death by Kitchin. "All three works are characterized by detailed texts in the spaces surrounding the maps and by elegant rococo decoration, which became the hallmark of his engraving" (Iolo Roberts and Menai Roberts for DNB). From the celebrated library of the Earls of Macclesfield at Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, England, accumulated from the early 18th century by generations of of the Parker family, and sold (over successive sales) by Sothebys. The first Earl of Macclesfield was Thomas Parker, 1st Baron Parker, made Viscount Parker, of Ewelm in the County of Oxford, and Earl of Macclesfield, in the County Palatine of Chester in 1716. He was Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench from 1710 to 1718 and Lord High Chancellor from 1718 to 1725. Probably acquired by Thomas Augustus Wolstenholme Parker, 6th Earl of Macclesfield (17 March 1811 - 24 July 1896) Conservative Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire from 1837 until 1841. Bookseller Inventory # 000598

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Britannia Depicta or Ogilby Improv'd

Publisher: London: Thomas Bowles, 1736.

Publication Date: 1736

Binding: Hardcover

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