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Lost at Sea

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Lost at Sea

Tools for Navigation: Maps

Charts and maps were among the most basic tools for locating oneself at sea.

Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer. Spieghel der Zeevaerdt. English. London, 1588?

The Mariner’s Mirrour began as a groundbreaking Dutch atlas, but Anthony Ashley’s translation transformed it into an English book. The image on the title-page shows many tools of the mariner’s trade, from upward-oriented celestial instruments including quadrants and astrolabes to downward-oriented lead lines that were used to measure the depth of a harbor.  The English edition also places the English nation at the center of the maritime world by mentioning Sir Francis Drake. The Folger’s hand-colored copy, which is currently unbound and undergoing conservation, would presumably have been intended as a lavish gift, perhaps for one of the wealthy private families who helped underwrite English navigation.


Maps, cont'd


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Samuel Purchas. Purchas his pilgrimes. London, 1625

Atlas maritimus & commercialis. London, 1728

Luke Foxe. North-west Fox, or, Fox from the North-west passage. London, 1635

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