An atlas-publishing dynasty
Working in partnership from about 1701, Richard Mount and Thomas Page established a near monopoly on English sea atlases, publishing key works such as Greenville Collins’ ‘Great Britain’s Coasting Pilot’. The firm survived through several generations of both families; the present atlas was published by William and James Mount and Thomas Page junior and his son, also Thomas. As Shirley writes in ‘Maps in the Atlases of the British Library’, Mount and Page atlases ‘form a complex series’, with many of the charts derived from those originally published by John Seller in the late 17th century.
Our atlas is a variant of a volume published in 1722 (Shirley M.M&P-14a); new charts include one of Plymouth Sound, and a general chart of the coasts from England to the Strait of Gibraltar. Shirley cites further editions of 1751, 1758 and 1759 which are not in the British Library, and with the date 1757 it is apparently unrecorded either by Shirley or in the English Short Title Catalogue. A similar publication, dated 1758, can be found in Washington D.C.’s Folger Shakespeare Library with the ESTC reference N44114. A cluster of dates in the late 1750s suggests a spike in demand during the Seven Years’ War.
Condition & Materials
Folio. pp. [ii] (letterpress title), 40 (sailing directions and woodcut coastal profiles), and 16 double-page and folding engraved charts, with one final chart (‘the haven of St Malo’) set within the text on p. 37. One or two trivial spots and stains, but generally clean and with few signs of use. Contemporary panelled speckled calf, ink stain on upper cover, neatly rebacked and recornered with red calf lettering piece on spine.