Mr. Selden's Map of China: Decoding the Secrets of a Vanished Cartographer

Mr. Selden's Map of China: Decoding the Secrets of a Vanished Cartographer


By (author) Professor Timothy Brook

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 239mm x 20mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 22 October 2013
  • ISBN 10: 1620401436
  • ISBN 13: 9781620401439
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 212,181

Product description

Timothy Brook's award-winning "Vermeer's Hat" unfolded the early history of globalization, using Vermeer's paintings to show how objects like beaver hats and porcelain bowls began to circulate around the world. Now he plumbs the mystery of a single artifact that offers new insights into global connections centuries old.In 2009, an extraordinary map of China was discovered in Oxford's Bodleian Library--where it had first been deposited 350 years before, then stowed and forgotten for nearly a century. Neither historians of China nor cartography experts had ever seen anything like it. It was so odd that experts would have declared it a fake--yet records confirmed it had been delivered to Oxford in 1659. The "Selden Map," as it is known, was a puzzle that needing solving.Brook, a historian of China, set out to explore the riddle. His investigation will lead readers around this elegant, enigmatic work of art, and from the heart of China, via the Southern Ocean, to the court of King James II. In the story of Selden's map, he reveals for us the surprising links between an English scholar and merchants half a world away, and offers novel insights into the power and meaning that a single map can hold. Brook delivers the same anecdote-rich narrative, intriguing characters, and unexpected historical connections that made "Vermeer's Hat" an instant classic.

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Author information

Timothy Brook is a professor of history and principal of St. John's College at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of many books, including "Vermeer's Hat," winner of the Mark Lynton Prize for outstanding achievement in world history, and "Confusions of Pleasure," which received the Joseph Levenson Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Review quote

[A] fascinating tale...[Brook] weaves a wonderful tale of the interaction of peoples of a different age in lands where sovereignty was barely a concept." - "Economist """Mr. Selden's Map of China" charts a fascinating course...A platter of diversions and fascinations made by someone with a deep knowledge of East Asia in the 1600s." -"Seattle Times""The definitive study of the singular Selden Map...The scholar will appreciate the level of detail, breadth of analysis, and ingenuity in Brook's ability to expound such a wealth of history from a single document." - "Publishers Weekly ""A work of exuberant scholarship...An infectious, satisfying exercise in intellectual doggedness." - "Kirkus " "An engagingly written, insightful look into just how fluid perceptions and realities have been in both the past and the present." -"Booklist"