Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

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The firm of Letts, Son and Co. are best remembered in English minds by their diaries first published in 1835 by John Letts (1772-1851), the founder of the firm in 1809. It was his son Thomas (1804-73) who upon taking over the business, rapidly expanded the diaries and general publishing. This series of maps began life as John and Charles Walker’s ‘British Atlas’ in 1837. From about 1849 they were also published concurrently as lithographs in ‘Hobson’s Fox-Hunting Atlas’ by William Colling Hobson. Charles Walker died in 1872 and John the following year. Further lithographic transfers were published as ‘Letts’s Popular County Atlas’ in 1884 by the Letts firm. Thomas Letts had died in 1873 and by 1885 the firm was in liquidation. The rights to the diary were taken over by Cassell, Petter and Galpin who continued to publish using the Letts name.

Letts’s ‘Popular County Atlas’ consists of a general map, 42 maps of the English counties including the 3 Yorkshire Ridings, and maps of the four quarters of Wales. Each map is detailed and coloured. The Preface announces the detail enclosed including ‘the recent earthquake in Essex’. The map itself with a ‘Red Cross, thus X denotes recorded locations of Earthquake Shock, April 22nd, 1884. Size of the Cross represents comparative intensity.’ Beresiner (1983) pp. 143-4. Carroll (1996) no. 105.N; Nicholson (2007); Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).
LETTS, Thomas

Letts's Popular County Atlas. Being a Complete Series of Maps Delineating the Whole Surface of England and Wales with Special and Original Features, and a Copious Index of 18,000 Names

Letts, Son & Co. Limited, London Bridge, E. C., London, 1884
Folio (360 x 220 mm.), contemporary half calf, cloth boards gilt ruled, with gilt title and Royal Arms to upper board, spine with gilt and blind bands, gilt title, with Letts’s adverts on endpapers, light wear. With title and Preface with Contents on the verso, pp. (4), 35, with 47 chromolithographic maps of England and Wales, with Omission’s slip bound in before Index, some light foxing, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10333


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