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Lend me ten pounds and I’ll buy you a drink…

For many people January is the season of moderation, and some particularly hardy souls (I’m told) even contemplate abstinence. Certain strands of the British media have coined and attempted to popularise the toe-curlingly awful term ‘Janopause’ to describe this practice, and if that’s not enough to have one reaching for…

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The Indies Must Be Free! A Japanese octopus, 1944

  In this context “Indie Moet Vrij” means that the Dutch East Indies should be Dutch again. Pat Keely’s poster, printed in London c. 1944, was presumably aimed at those Free Dutch troops still in England and, as the war progressed, the population of the partially liberated Netherlands. The end…

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Satirical maps of the Great War, 1914-15

In one of my first posts I covered cartoon and satirical maps in a very general way. They have a long history, reaching back to the mediaeval period if not beyond, but they gained a new currency in the mid nineteenth-century, with fine examples associated with the Crimean War and the…

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Visions of Britain 1914-15

I don’t want to repeat too much I’ve just said in my previous post (and probably a good idea to read that first), but I thought it might be fun to compare the different depictions of the British Isles. One tends to encounter the plucky bulldog of Walter Emanuel’s “Hark!…

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A Merry Christmas to Everybody!

My favourite time of year, and here’s a fine map-related greetings card for you all:   It’s in postcard form, probably taken in a French studio early in the First World War (and although the props were probably lying around there for a while, note that the model’s 1907 pattern…

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A splash of colour

Few things in my corner of the rare booktrade seem to cause as much confusion and consternation as the colouring of maps: when, by whom and why? Commercially viable colour-printing didn’t really take off until the mid nineteenth-century, and there’s a transitional period of at least thirty years or so…

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