A very rare description and history of the British Isles by Johann Christoph Beer (1638-1712). Issued shortly after the Glorious Revolution it celebrates William III’s accession to the throne. The title translates as follows; ‘The newly armed Great Britain, that is: the true state and class of the three united kingdoms of Angels, Scotland and Ireland: in a complete description of their provinces, islands, cities, castles, fortresses, fruits, riches and regiments -Form, like no less of the most embarrassing state and war stories …’ The first chapters provide detailed descriptions of important cities with accompanying plans. These are followed by chapters describing government and society up to the events under James II and William III.
The work includes three large folding general maps and 23 town plans. The plans are drawn from those of Braun and Hogenberg, the county maps of John Speed or possibly more directly from the work of Rutger Hermannides in 1661. That of Dover is however drawn from Matheus Merian. The engraver of the map of Scotland is identified as Johann Baptist Homann, that of Ireland is the work of Cornelis Nicolas Schurtz. There has been some addition to many of the plates, although that of Cambridge is poorly engraved in reverse. To illustrate it further are several engraved portraits of important people in British history. A rare work, examples could only be traced through Copac at the British Library, Cambridge and Oxford Universities, the Guildhall Library and the London School of Economics. Provenance: EOS Buchantiquariat Benz, Zurich, March 2018; private English collection. Fordham (1965) p. 10; Shirley (1988) Anon 2; Shirley (2004) T.Beer 2a; Tooley (1999-2004).