Morse & Gaston’s Diamond Atlas: Oriental

Western ideas about the Eastern Hemisphere during the Victorian Era.

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This magnificent compilation of mid-19th century geographic knowledge was written by Charles Morse and published in New York by Samuel Gaston in 1858. Its 240+ pages encompass an interesting summary of the western thought regarding the Eastern Hemisphere from ancient sources to the modern era.

The contents reflect a clear bias towards Europe, with only six pages in total dedicated to the entire continent of Africa, and even less to Oceania. Accompanying maps, as described in the publisher’s preface,

“contain in themselves alone, an epitome of the History of Human Progress. They show how age by age, the domain of Civilization has been enlarged, like the widening ripples on a placid sea. How gradually the “Mare Tenebrosum (Dark Sea), and the “Terra Incognita (unknown land) have been drive back; whether by the knightly Crusader, the daring avarice of the lawless Freebooter, or the more lofty promptings of a laudable ambition, until they only hover over a narrow circumference, around the inhospitable poles, where Science alone can hope to reap a harvest, and even there, she is pointing her adventurous prows, with a determination that seems likely to wrest from them their last secret; and complete the sum of Geographical Knowledge.”

Map Details

Publication Date: 1858

Author: Charles Morse and Samuel Gaston

Sheet Width (in): 6.25

Sheet Height (in): 7.00

Condition: B+

Condition Description: 242 pp. atlas bound in embossed gilt red boards. The spine is broken and torn and the front cover is hanging on by just a thread. A bit of spotting on the endpapers, but otherwise the contents are quite good. Slightly toned, consistent with age, and mild soiling throughout.

Out of stock