Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey

Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey

Paperback

By (author) Rachel Hewitt

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  • Publisher: GRANTA BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 34mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847082548
  • ISBN 13: 9781847082541
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (some col.), maps (some col.)
  • Sales rank: 35,774

Product description

Map of a Nation tells the story of the creation of the Ordnance Survey map - the first complete, accurate, affordable map of the British Isles. The Ordnance Survey is a much beloved British institution, and Map of a Nation is, amazingly, the first popular history to tell the story of the map and the men who dreamt and delivered it. The Ordnance Survey's history is one of political revolutions, rebellions and regional unions that altered the shape and identity of the United Kingdom over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It's also a deliciously readable account of one of the great untold British adventure stories, featuring intrepid individuals lugging brass theodolites up mountains to make the country visible to itself for the first time.

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Author information

RACHEL HEWITT completed her doctoral thesis on the subject of the early Ordnance Survey at the University of London in 2007, and is currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. She won the 2008 Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction for this project. She lives in Cambridge.

Review quote

This is a brilliant book, and it's astonishing that no one has thought of writing it before ... History at its best - A N Wilson, Reader's DigestGripping [story] about the remarkable personalities who initiated the scientific mapping of Britain and their extraordinary feats of skill and endurance ... this is the first book of a young historian of whom more will be heard - Max Hastings, Sunday TimesHewitt tackles the subject exuberantly ... the book won me over. The sweep of its history has true grandeur, and the incidentals of the tale are like desirables found in a cluttered antique shop - Jan Morris, The TimesIn this endlessly absorbing history, Rachel Hewitt narrates the history of our printed maps from King George II's "Scotophobic" cartographies to the three-dimensional computerised elevations of today ... In her lively and informative narrative, Hewitt highlights the Ordnance project's legion of draughtsmen, surveyors, dreamers and eccentrics - Ian Thomson, ObserverAn extremely handsome and scholarly account of the genesis of the OS map ... The next time I am in the Public House (wherever it is) I shall raise a pint to Rachel Hewitt and her band of map-makers - Tom Fort, Sunday TelegraphThis is a solid account of how Britain's national mapping agency came into being ... she is good on the military, scientific and ideological impulses behind the OS and on its enormous appeal to the general public - Sunday TimesA diligent and very detailed book ... she has done justice to a neglected subject and to neglected but worthy men - Peter Lewis, Daily MailThe enthralling story of the creation of the Ordnance Survey map ... with wonderful tales of the intrepid individuals who lugged brass theodolites over hill and dale in order to make the country visible for the first time - Caroline Sanderson, BooksellerAn exhaustively detailed study of the life and times of Ordnance Survey maps ... there are frequent nuggets of enjoyably recondite information - Gillian Tindall, Litera