Second edition. Copper engraving, platemark approx 59 x 50 cm, sheet size 60 x 51.5 cm, original hand colour, dissected into 15 panels and laid on linen, trivial wear at fold intersections, folding into worn slipcase with printed publisher’s labels on front and back.
The Dartons were noteworthy publishers of juvenilia and cartographic games. The younger William Darton appears to have been trading on the name of Richard Brookes (fl 1721-63), compiler of a number of popular works on medicine, natural history and geography in the previous century. Some, like his ‘General Gazeteer’ ran into several editions.
Darton’s map was first issued in 1812, and if we are talking about the same Brookes, his claim on the cover that ‘Mr Brookes has taken great pains to render this map useful’ can only be taken with a pinch of salt. The elaborate black and white cartouche depicts Britannia or Liberty surveying emblems of the arts and sciences (note the Cap of Liberty on her staff – the Dartons were Quakers and pacifists). An overflowing cornucopia is in the foreground, and behind her is a prosperous pastoral, coastal scene with livestock on the cliffs and ships out at sea.