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Throughout history maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world and our place in it. But, Jerry argues, world maps are unavoidably ideological and subjective. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct their maps from and reflect the ideas of their age. In this scintillating book, he examines the significance of 12 maps, vividly recreating the time and place in which each was made, showing what each demonstrates about the views of that time and place - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to the 'third world'. He also believes that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been, but that they continue to make arguments and propositions about the world, and to recreate, shape and mediate our view of it.
Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London, and a leading expert in the history of maps and Renaissance cartography. His most recent book, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection (2006), was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize as well as the Hessell-Tiltman History Prize. In 2010, he presented the BBC4 series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession and in April 2013 the BBC Northern Ireland series, Mapping Ulster.