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

The Mapping of North America

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

THE FIRST STATE of this map from the ‘Poly-Olbion’, as it is more commonly known, a book of poems by the Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton (1563-1631). He was born in 1563 at Hartshill, near Atherstone, Warwickshire. He began working on his longest poem at least 14 years before publication in 1612. It comprises a series of songs in praise of the English and Welsh countryside, with accompanying allegorical maps. The notes to the songs were written by the polymath John Selden.

Yates argues that the ‘Poly-Olbion’ was one of the most important attempts during the Stuart era to connect them with Tudor myth of ‘British’ history. This is best seen in the allegorical title page which displays both the Stuarts and the Tudors as descendants of Brut. It depicts a virginal Albion wrapped in a cloak resembling a map of England. The symbolism suggests that the descriptive ‘maps’ in the work have a serious historical context. Yates asserts that the graceful nymphs displayed on many of the maps recalls the masque of the Tethys Festival given at court in June 1610 on the occasion of the creation of Henry as Prince of Wales. Drayton died 23 December 1631 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. This is an example of the FIRST STATE included in the incomplete issue of 1612 without the addition of a page number at the upper edge. It covers Staffordshire and Shropshire, displaying Stafford and the River Trent. Carroll (1996) 8; Chubb (1927) 35; Harley ‘Tudor Mapmaking’; Hodson (1974) Supp I.ii; Kingsley (1982) IV 1.ii,3; Shirley (2004) T.DRA-1d; Skelton (1970) 8; STC 7228-30; Yates (1975).

DRAYTON, Michael

(Staffordshire and part of Shropshire)

London, 1612
FIRST STATE. 250 x 335 mm., in fine modern wash colour, in good condition.
Stock number: 10897
£ 350
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