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WILLIAM CAMDEN, SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ATLASES OF THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE PRINTING OF ANGLO-SAXON

  • Peter J Lucas (a1)

Abstract

The sixth edition of Camden’s Britannia was published in 1607 with over fifty county maps printed from engraved plates. It was a pioneering work. In 1611, John Speed published his Theatre of The Empire of Great Britaine, again with over fifty county maps, many of them engraved by Jodocus Hondius from Amsterdam, and with an abridged version of Camden’s text. These books established a model that was followed later in Amsterdam itself in the great atlases of Blaeu and Janssonius. One of the ways Camden sought to augment the authority of his work was by using Anglo-Saxon types in his text for county names and the occasional passage in Anglo-Saxon (Old English). As the practice persisted, the progress of these type-designs is examined in relation to the development of the atlases. While Hondius’ map-making skills were imported to add to the English text, when the English text was brought to Amsterdam to add to the Dutch maps, the Dutch printers had to use their own skills to reproduce the Anglo-Saxon characters.

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