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This is the first book to catalog comparative maps and tableaux that visualize the heights and lengths of the world's mountains and rivers. Produced predominantly in the nineteenth century, these beautifully rendered maps emerged out of the tide of exploration and scientific developments in measuring techniques. Beginning with the work of explorer Alexander von Humboldt, these historic drawings reveal a world of artistic and imaginative difference. Many of them give way – and with visible joy – to the power of fantasy in a mesmerizing array of realistic and imaginary forms. Most of the maps are from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at Stanford University.
First published in French in 2014 by Fage Éditions as Le Monde sur une Feuille.
Gilles Palsky is a professor of geography at the University of Paris. He has published a history of statistical cartography of the nineteenth century. Jean-Marc Besse is director of research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (UMR Geographie-cites). Philippe Grand is the author of nine books of poetry and publisher of Fage editions of Lyon, France. Jean-Christophe Bailly teaches the history of landscape formation at the École d'ingenieurs paysagistes (School of Landscape Architecture), Blois, France.
"An Atlas of Geographical Wonders: From Mountaintops to Riverbeds catalogs the maps, prints and tableaux that emerged from the work of 19th-century explorers. The images, most of them from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at Stanford University, display the era's advances in scientific measuring techniques. At the same time, they also show the artists' pleasure – and sometimes bursts of fantasy – in rendering and imagining the world's mountains and rivers."
– The Wall Street Journal