Thursday, January 05, 2006

Curious Cartography

"If these geographical puzzles excite the mirth of children, the amusement of the moment may lead to the profitable curiosity of youthful students and embue the mind with a healthful taste for foreign lands."

A hook-nosed lady represents fair France,
Empress of cooks, of fashions, and the dance.
Her flatt'ring glass declares that vict'ry pwer,
Beauty, wealth, arts, are her imperial dower.

For Shakespeare's Prince, and the Princess of wales,
To England dear. Her royal spirit quails;
From skating faint, she rests upon the snow;
Shrinking from unclean beasts that grin below.

A gallant piper, stuggling through the bogs,
His wind bag broken, wearing his clay clogs;
Yet, strong of heart, a fitting emblem makes
For Scotland - land of heroes and of cakes.

Peter, and Catherine, and Alexander,
Mad Paul, and Nicholas, poor shadows wander
Out in the cold; while Emperor A. the Second
In Eagles, Priests, and Bears supreme is reckoned.

Aleph tells us that a 14 year old girl produced these caricatured maps by way of entertainment for her brother who was ill in bed. The series of 12 colour lithographs were released by the journalist/author William Harvey in 1869 using a pseudonym and the quote above is from the introduction. Each of the 12 European countries depicted in one form or other of stereotype includes a small descriptive verse.

2 comments :

Moon said...

my god!!!!

it is just as if you know what i like!

arriving to your place, is for me, like being in front of huge candy box :)

pk said...

Heh. Actually it's because of you that I found this - I came across it when searching about that map the other day !

So thanks.

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