Steel engraving, 33 x 40.5 cm, engraved by Edmund Turrell after William Barnard Clarke, original hand colour, one or two light spots, numbered in old hand, blank verso.
This map of Edinburgh has an inset view of Edinburgh Castle and architectural elevations of some of the city’s principal buildings at the foot of the map; coloured in red to show the old town walls, and with excellent detail of the New Town as built, with the proposed ‘Third’ or ‘Eastern New Town’, which was only partially built in this form.
Later editions of the map were revised in the 1840s to include the railways (Edinburgh & Glasgow, Caledonian and North British) and one or two new buildings such as the Orphan Hospital.
The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was founded in 1826 with the high-minded aim of making ‘useful’ information available to self-taught members of the working and lower middle classes. Some of the material was decidedly abstruse, subscribers fell away and the Society was wound up in 1848; however, the series of 209 maps published over a 14 year period from 1829 onwards were highly praised for their superior quality, accuracy and aesthetic appeal and remain an outstanding achievement.