Sunday, June 12, 2016

Geographical Fun: Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries from the 1860s

Geographical Fun: Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries was first published in London by the firm of Hodder and Stoughton in 1869. The atlas consists of twelve maps of European countries, each with a unique national stereotype created by the author based on the the outline and shape of the country. Each image is accompanied by a short verse describing the authors creation.


In the introduction to the atlas, the author, William Harvey, writing under the pseudonym Aleph, described his intention in creating the atlas: "It is believed that illustrations of Geography may be rendered educational, and prove of service to young Scholars who commonly think Globes and Maps but wearisome aids to knowledge. If these geographical puzzles excite the mirth of children, the amusement of the moment may lead to the profitable curiosity of youthful students and embue the mind with a healthful taste for foreign lands."

The resulting fanciful caricatures include England in the form of Queen Victoria; Scotland as a gallant Piper struggling through the bogs; Wales in the form of Owen Glendowr; Ireland as a Peasant, happy in her babys smile; France as an Empress of cooks, fashions, and the dance; Spain and Portugal joined in lasting amity; Italy as a revolutionary figure complete with liberty cap; Prussia in the personages of Friedrich Wilhelm and Prime Minister Bismarck; Holland and Belgium as female figures who represent a land... and perfect art made grand; Denmark as a female figure with ice skates; and Russia as the classic bear.

Wales

Denmark

England

Scotland

Ireland

France

Spain and Portugal

Italy

Prussia

Germany

The Netherlands and Belgium

Russia

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