A biography of the mapmaker who revolutionized geography
The story of discovery and mapmaking is one of pushing back shadows," writes Andrew Taylor, and "none in the last two thousand years achieved as much as Gerard Mercator in extending the boundaries of what could be comprehended." His life encompassed most of the turbulent, extraordinary sixteenth century, a time when revolutions would engulf religion, science, and civilization. Almost extinguished by the Inquisition, Mercator's genius lay in making maps, and his achievement did nothing less than revolutionize the study of geography.
Appropriately for an era undergoing radical change, Mercator was full of contradiction, tied to knowledge and beliefs of the past while forging a new path. He never traveled beyond northern Europe, yet he had the imagination to draw the entire world anew and to solve a problem that had baffled sailors and scientists for centuries: how a curved Earth could be faithfully rendered on a flat surface so as to allow for accurate navigation. His "projection" was so visionary that it is used by NASA to map Mars today. Andrew Taylor has beautifully captured Mercator amidst the turmoil and opportunity of his times and the luminaries who inspired his talent―his teacher and business partner, Gemma Frisius; the English magus, John Dee; his benefactor, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, his cartographic collaborator, Abraham Ortelius. The World of Gerard Mercator is a masterful biography of one of the men most responsible for the modern world.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Andrew Taylor is a historian and the author of God's Fugitive, a biography of the great British explorer C. M. Doughty. He lives in England.From Publishers Weekly:
Maps today strike us as fairly innocuous charts of the world. But 500 years ago, an era when political power and religious authority were in flux, maps were fraught with implications that made owning the "wrong" map a cause for execution. Into this world came Flemish mapmaker Gerard Mercator (1512–1594), whose new technique forged modern cartography as we know it. Mercator devised an ingenious compromise between accurately depicting the varying lengths of latitudinal circles between the poles and the equator and accurately depicting geographic details that is the basis for nearly all maps in use today. British historian Taylor (God's Fugitive) neatly surveys Mercator's invention along with the rest of his professional career, while delving into hardships caused by the Inquisition, which arrested him on suspicions of Lutheran heresy, and the bubonic plague, which touched his family. The background material on 16th-century exploration and European politics is effectively presented, helping readers to understand how Mercator was able to successfully navigate a web of political intrigues. Taylor also discusses modern attempts to "correct" various distortions in the comparative sizes of major land masses. This occasionally lively chronicle should appeal to a core audience of history and geography buffs. 40 b&w illus. and 7 maps.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Walker Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0802713777 Brand new, hardback with dust jacket, The World of Gerard Mercator : The Mapmaker Who Revolutionized Geography by Andrew Taylor, Walker Pub. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1019268
Book Description Walker & Company, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2004. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First American Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 036776
Book Description Walker & Company, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0802713777
Book Description Walker Books, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0802713777
Book Description Walker & Company, New York, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; First Printing. 1.4 x 7.9 x 5.7 Inches; 291 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 41732
Book Description Walker Books, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110802713777
Book Description Walker Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0802713777 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0370670
Book Description Walker Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0802713777 New Condition *** Right Off the Shelf | Ships within 2 Business Days ~~~ Customer Service Is Our Top Priority! - Thank you for LOOKING :-). Bookseller Inventory # 2BOOK1P66456