Maps of London & Beyond

Adam Dant has, for a long time, been sketching lovely maps of London history, culture and phenomena, often focusing in particular on S the historic East End. Now, Batsford, an imprint of Pavilion Books, has produced this book, collating Dant’s existing wonderful maps (and debuting some new ones) in single place and adding background information. The book has been created in partnership with Spitalfields Life, a long-running local blog for the area, and is published today.

The book is impressively large, each individual page being landscape A3 size. This format gives each map the space it needs on a single page, to allow the detail, often including hand-written annotations and depictions of individual people, houses, cartouches and other embellishments, to come out clearly. The paper is also uncoated, giving a slightly rough, traditional map feel. The overall production quality and presentation is excellent – always critical for a book containing so many graphic works – congratulations to Batsford for taking such care with the production, giving the maps the justice they deserve.

This book contrasts with Mapping London co-author Dr James Cheshire’s data-focused “London: The Information Capital” and the more whimsical Curiocity by Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose, its niche being a compendium of nuanced observations on the capital. As such, with its unique perspective, it is an essential additional to the coffee table for anyone who is passionate about London, history and cartography.

An exhibition of the book’s maps will take place at The Map House in Knightsbridge, presented by TAG Fine Arts, from 28 June until 14 July. The book is available on Amazon, from Spitalfields Life, and in all good bookstores.