REVIEW by Kat Dawes

NWR Issue 105

Mapping the Roads

by Mike Parker

Over 250 pages of gorgeous maps and accompanying text chart the story of Britain’s roads, which is also ‘the story of our political, economic and social history.’ The text is exhaustive, each map the result of huge amounts of work on the part of mapmakers from Roman times to the current definitive Ordnance Survey sheets.

Mapping the Roads is structured chronologically, and the maps in the first two chapters (pre-cars) are gorgeous, often completely baffling, and you could spend many hours poring over them without deciphering what you’re looking at. The first is Matthew Paris’ thirteenth-century map, which makes Britain look like a lump of dough with blue cracks, carefully labelled with Roman names.

The maps of London are some of the most recognisable...

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previous review: Winter Moorings
next review: Marlford


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