The Islands That Never Were

The more you look at maps, the more apparent it becomes that they aren’t always just lifeless, objective depictions of the spatial distribution of objects. Early maps, which began to replace the simple panoramic views of cities which had preceded them, often featured images and lengthy passages describing (and usually praising) the depicted city, country, and ruler. The famous ‘Agas’ map of London from the mid-16th century is one of the first proper maps of the city and features text which lauds the ‘Ancient city’ and alludes to the notion of London as a ‘New Troy’ established by the Trojan Brutus…