Some time ago I was invited to a Book Group which had just finished my second novel A House Divided as their monthly read. I gave a wee talk and they were able to ask me questions and I had some for them which gave me some really useful feedback. After a lovely evening, including a supper (of which I probably ate too much!) they very kindly presented me with a book token as a thank you for coming.
I wanted to save it to buy something special that I wouldn’t have bought for myself and last week I found the absolutely perfect book for anyone interested in history and especially for an historical novelist. So to give a wee flavour of it, here are some photos. I took them on my phone so they don’t do this stunning book justice for the maps are gorgeous, and they cover every county in England, Wales, the whole of Ireland and include one map covering all of Scotland. They were drawn by a man called John Speed in the late 16th century and as you’ll see include town plans, and coats of arms of important people / families in each county as well as other quirky things, such as sea monsters.
It is fabulous and will provide hours of reading / pouring over / enjoyment time (not to mention the possibility of displacement activity… I’m going to have to ration myself.) So far though I’ve just been sitting stroking the pages and thinking how lovely these maps are.
Aside from their beauty, the skill in surveying that these represent is amazing, given the equipment available at the time. Somehow, a bit like modern versus classic cars, modern maps don’t have quite the same appeal.