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Luxury book maps out the history of Channel Islands

News | Published:

A LUXURY, limited-edition book of the cartographic history of the Channel Islands has just been published.

Martin Morgan has compiled a book of Channel Island maps, The Cartographic History of the Channel Islands. (Picture by Peter Frankland,24533256)

The strategic importance and trading opportunities of the islands have meant that they have been mapped for more than half a millennia.

Each front cover has been uniquely marbled and all 275 copies of the book have been hand-crafted using old-fashioned methods.

‘What we wanted to achieve was a really beautiful and interesting book which, I think, after two-and-a-half years of work, we have done and I am really proud of how it has turned out,’ said Martin Morgan, the founder of Clear Vue Publishing.

‘The book contains over 120 early and modern maps that feature the Channel Islands, complete with an introduction and footnotes.’

Mr Morgan and his team visited archives and collectors in Guernsey, the UK and further afield in Europe to gather the extensive collection of maps for the book.

Hand-bound in navy blue quarter leather, the book has almost 200 pages and measures 500mm by 325mm.

Maps appear chronologically from as early as 1467 to 2017 aerial images of the islands, and many of the maps have never been reproduced before.

Mercator’s 16th century map sees Guernsey as square in shape.

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‘This was quite a disservice to the island because – as you can see in the book – for around 200 years after that we were drawn as a square,’ he said.

However, seeing the progression of detail and accuracy in the maps through history is, for Mr Morgan, one of the most interesting aspects of the book.

‘You can see how much was learnt and discovered about the Channel Islands as time went on.

‘We know that explorers and traders knew about [the Channel Islands] very early on,’ he said.

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‘So I was surprised to see we were not recorded on a map until quite late.

‘I would guess that people at the time didn’t want to give away too much information about the islands as they were a key trading spot – I think they wanted to keep us a secret.’

Maps in the book do not just look at geographical location –some include the geology of the islands, the depth of the English Channel and street plans.

n The luxury book can be purchased from www.extraordinaryeditions.com for £1,150.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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