Mr. Selden's Map of China

Mr. Selden's Map of China

Decoding the Secrets of A Vanished Cartographer

Book - 2013
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"Timothy Brook's award-winning Vermeer's Hat unfolded the early history of globalization, using Vermeer's paintings to show how objects like beaver hats and porcelain bowls began to circulate around the world. Now he plumbs the mystery of a single artifact that offers new insights into global connections centuries old. In 2009, an extraordinary map of China was discovered in Oxford's Bodleian Library--where it had first been deposited 350 years before, then stowed and forgotten for nearly a century. Neither historians of China nor cartography experts had ever seen anything like it. It was so odd that experts would have declared it a fake--yet records confirmed it had been delivered to Oxford in 1659. The "Selden Map," as it is known, was a puzzle that needing solving. Brook, a historian of China, set out to explore the riddle. His investigation will lead readers around this elegant, enigmatic work of art, and from the heart of China, via the Southern Ocean, to the court of King James II. In the story of Selden's map, he reveals for us the surprising links between an English scholar and merchants half a world away, and offers novel insights into the power and meaning that a single map can hold. Brook delivers the same anecdote-rich narrative, intriguing characters, and unexpected historical connections that made Vermeer's Hat an instant classic"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, [2013]
ISBN: 9781620401439
1620401436
Branch Call Number: 912.16472 BROOK
Characteristics: xxiv, 211 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 25 cm

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MaryJeanGilman
Feb 05, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Aside from the cartographic interest, there are many fascinating tidbits about the whole region surrounding the South China Sea, including (now) Indonesia, the Southeast Asian/Malaysian Peninsula, the Philippines, etc.

It is so interesting to read history that is not centrally focused on the Western world.

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