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The Mapping of North America

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CARY, John

Cary's Traveller's Companion, or, a Delineation of the Turnpike Roads of England and Wales; shewing the immediate Rout to every Market and Borough Town throughout the Kingdom. Laid down from the best Authorities, On A New Set Of County Maps. To which is added An Alphabetical List of all the Market Towns, with the Days on which they are held

Printed for John Cary, Engraver, Map & Printseller, Strand, London, 1 Jan. 1791-[92]
Octavo (165 x 105 mm.), contemporary half calf, marbled paper boards, spine with gilt ruled bands, red calf gilt title. With engraved title page, Advertisement and Contents and 43 engraved maps bound back to back, all in early outline colour, that of Yorkshire folding, 6 page Index with an advert leaf for John Cary, in good condition.
This is the second edition of the smallest of three English county atlases produced by John Cary. The ‘Advertisement’ for ‘Cary’s New Itinerary’ for 1802 described it as being an abridgement of the ‘New and Correct English Atlas’ of 1787-89. The immense success of the ‘New and Correct English Atlas’ clearly encouraged Cary to issue a smaller, pocket size version for the traveller. It was designed to be of use to travellers on the widening network of turnpike roads. Travel is at the core of each of the maps. The clear feature of each is the road network. The Advertisement at the beginning stated his intent, ‘With an anxious desire to render this work useful to travellers, the Proprietor has paid every attention to accuracy, and in the endeavour to render it of real utility …’

On each map Cary is prominently identified as the engraver. Above the title on each map may be found a compass rose with the points of the compass, these indicate the orientation of the map. In the border below are found a list of distances to London from key towns and cities found within. The seven-page Index at the end compacts a considerable amount of information. The market days for each town are given, borough towns are marked with an asterisk with the number of their representatives given in brackets. Cities and universities are given in capital letters. As might be expected a clear and detailed method. The work proved extremely popular. So much so that not one, but two, entirely new series of copper plates were produced during the lifetime of the work.

The imprint date on all but that of Yorkshire has been altered to 1 September 1792 and the index is now in six pages. Provenance: manuscript inscriptions on the title page of ‘Stephen Oliver’. Chubb 275; ESTC N26954; Fordham Cary pp. 35-7; Shirley (2004) T.Cary 3c; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 9914

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