Book brings Scottish history to light through maps
Maps revealing Scotland's history and changing aspects of Scottish life have been brought together in a fascinating new book.
'Scotland: Mapping the nation' shows how maps can explain aspects of the story of Scotland as a nation, from the Roman era to the satellite age.
It is the first book to take Scotland's maps and mapping seriously as a form of history.
More than 220 maps, mostly from the National Library of Scotland's map collections, were chosen to illustrate, for example:
- Scotland occupied and defended
- Towns and urban life
- Popular culture
- Travel and communication
- How science has left its mark.
Among the historic and unusual maps included in the volume are:
- The extensive tram network in Glasgow in the last century (1908)
- A Soviet map of Greenock pinpointing factories and military targets (1979)
- Specially designed maps for blind people (1851 and 1978)
- Temperance maps showing the location of public houses (1884)
- The first road maps, from the 17th century.
Authors Chris Fleet, Margaret Wilkes and Charles W J Withers have aimed the book at anyone interested in Scottish history. Historian T C Smout describes it as 'a real eye-opener' and 'utterly absorbing':
'... when you have read it you will never think of maps, or perhaps of Scotland, in the same way again'.
'Scotland: Mapping the nation' will be published by Birlinn on 3 October, in association with the National Library of Scotland, priced £30.
22 September 2011