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The Principal Features of Europe and Asia By: Alexander K. Johnston, 1856

1856 The Physical Features of Europe and Asia

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By: Alexander K. Johnston

Date: 1856 (published) Edinburgh

Dimensions: 20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 cm)

This is a map which is far more interesting than it might appear at first glance. The map features the Eurasian continent in its entirety, the British Isles, a portion of northern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and numerous islands, all without the political borders which existed in the mid nineteenth century. The map was published in the 2nd edition of Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena,  out of Edinburgh by William Blackwood & Sons in 1856.

The map provides an enormous amount of topographical information regarding large swathes of the eastern hemisphere. While Johnston does name cities and  countries, he primarily focuses on physical topography in all its forms, including river systems, mountain chains, deserts, swamps, etc., and he designates names for regions based on their most prevalent topographic properties and characteristics. Some examples include Scandinavian Mountains, German Lowland, Sarmatian or East European Plain, Table Land of Iran or Persia, Plateau of Old Castile, and he thus names regions throughout the entire area depicted. 

In addition to the generalized geographic terminology, he also provides names for many rivers, mountain ranges, deserts, volcanic areas, replete with the specific elevation for countless of these areas. A double row of insets across the bottom of the map present cross-sectional diagrams which compare the elevations of many of the mountain chains, and include various bodies of water, primarily seas, which are situated near these mountain ranges. A separate and highly detailed map of the volcanic island of Java is amongst the insets, and a separate inset focuses on the 'Volcanic Kingdom of Luzon', located in the Philippines.  

Alexander Keith Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena was amongst the most comprehensive geographic works focusing on natural science of its time. Johnston described the motivations and focus of his work in the preface as follows; The object originally contemplated in this work was to present, in a graphic form, a concise yet comprehensive view of the Physical Geography of the Globe, embracing under that term its superficial structure, the movements of its aerial and oceanic currents, and the distribution of organized existence on its surface. 

Accompanying the map is the original letterpress description from the atlas that  discusses in detail the methodology, science, and theory utilized in order to create such a cartographic work.

Condition: Map is in A+ condition presenting a attractive and vivid imprint on heavy paper with full margins on all sides. 

Inventory #12554

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