Chet Van Duzer's 'The World for a King: Pierre Desceliers' Map of 1550'
By VAN DUZER, Chet , 2015

The World for a King. Pierre Desceliers’s Map of 1550.

Reference Books
  • Author: VAN DUZER, Chet
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: The British Library
  • Publication date: 2015.
  • Physical description: Hardcover (279 by 368mm), 192pp.
  • Inventory reference: 15007


This lavishly produced new study features a full-scale colour reproduction and commentary on one of the British Library’s greatest treasures, the manuscript world map of 1550 produced by Pierre Desceliers. The map is one of the most important of the ‘Dieppe School’ of cartography that flourished in Normandy from the 1540s to the 1560s. Chet Van Duzer’s fascinating text situates the map in context among Desceliers’ other surviving works; analyses the map’s many illustrations of people, animals and cities; discusses its curious hypothetical southern continent; and includes translations of all the long descriptive texts on the map. The text makes a major contribution to cartographic history and to our understanding of one of the most beautiful maps ever produced.

Following a substantial introduction, the map is reproduced at real size in forty-two sections, each accompanied by detailed explanatory notes, and a reduced-size removable reproduction of the entire map is inserted at the back of the book.

The product of several years’ research, this study follows the author’s best-selling Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps and is sure to appeal to the same wide audience of map-lovers.