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The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps [9781471159459]

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This is the world - not as it ever existed, but as it was thought to be. A world where California is an island paradise drifting free from North America, where monstrous creatures terrorise the Nordic waters, and lost cities of gold shimmer in the depths of jungles and oceans.

From invisible mountain ranges to vast spectral seas, this unique atlas presents the greatest cartographic 'phantoms' ever to haunt the maps of history, and uncovers the fascinating stories behind their invention. The weirdest fictions once depicted as truth on maps - ghost islands, mythical races, ship-snatching beasts - are here meticulously assembled, culled from the entire history of cartography.

These are the most bizarre tales from the chronicles of exploration, compelling narratives of murderous polar explorers, deranged buccaneers, seafaring monks and a whole host of other curious characters.

This brilliant collection leads the reader on an enthralling journey through our ancestors' fears, fantasies and misconceptions of the world, revealing how these illusions and confusions came to be, why they were drawn as fact on maps for so long - in many cases, for centuries - and their surprising influence on modern geography.

Vividly written and filled with extraordinary images, The Phantom Atlas is an unmissable anthology of mystery and adventure that navigates a world recognisable, yet infinitely stranger than the one we know today.

AUTHOR: The son of an antiquarian book dealer, Edward Brooke-Hitching became an award-winning documentary director making films that examine the eccentric side of British life. He lives in London.

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Edward Brooke-Hitching
Simon & Schuster Ltd
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968 Grams
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