The Books

First Edition - 1966
RCEQ 1st edition.jpg

(Out of Print)

The first edition was written in response to a dare by Bob's wife, Sylvia. He'd been threatening to write it for several years and eventually she said "I bet you'll never write it!". It was first published in 1966 and became one of the first such books to consider the maps of a specific county in terms of mapping history. The edition took shape years before the advent of the internet and as such relied on old analogue research methods, typewriters and plain hard work. It quickly became the "go-to" book for maps of Cornwall and the limited print run of 1000 was soon exhausted. Searches on the internet today will occasionally throw up a rare, pristine copy sometimes priced into three figures. Up until then there was simply no other reference for the maps of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; the new second edition updates this and offers a new generation of collectors a volume covering the rise of cartography of Cornwall from Saxton to Moule.

Second Edition - 2018

This new 2nd edition retains the emphasis and principles of the 1st. The sections have been extended on contributing map-makers from the end of the 16th Century to the mid 19th Century, where decorative maps decline and are superseded by the cleaner lines of the Ordnance Survey.

The maps shown in this new edition come from a number of sources. They have been selected in order to give a story over the span of these maps as they are drawn, and also an analysis of how they reflect the history of cartography in terms of the county of Cornwall.

The process of creating maps evolved at a stunning rate in the 270 years covered here, and we have endeavoured to provide the reader with some analysis between maps as well as on versions of the same map. Maps depict the lay of the land: there are instances where amendments to maps show changes in the physical geography on the ground, thus fulfilling the role of the geographer and his map. This is the accurate depiction on paper of observed elements in the field.

In addition to the maps of Cornwall are charts generated for navigation of the treacherous seas around the Isles of Scilly. These notorious shores have proven fatal, and the need for accurate maps around the coast drove some of the earliest maps of the area.

Presented with many full colour illustrations and extensively expanded from the 1966 edition, this book will aid the budding collector or the confused auction-goer, as well as console the exile and, we hope, will be of interest to anyone keen in the mapped history of Cornwall.