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Seeing the World Anew: The Radical Vision of Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 & 1516 World Maps

Price: $85.00 Now $59.95 Save 29%
Item: RB1490
Read Steve's blog and our interview with the authors -- click here

A Jesuit priest, a German castle, two 16th-century maps discovered in a long-lost book. Herein lies the tale of the great re-visioning of the world, by the mapmaker who influenced Copernicus.

Among the prized collections in the Library of Congress are two enormous maps, one dated 1507 and the other 1516, that dared to show the world in ways it had never been seen before. On the 1507 map were an ocean that hardly anyone knew and a huge island that no one -- including Columbus -- had ever placed correctly. And a name for that island, never seen on any map before: America. That was just the start of the radical re-visioning of the world on these rarest of artifacts, both lost for almost 400 years, each surviving in just a single copy. For map lovers, history buffs, and thoughtful observers of the shifts that propel knowledge forward, here is a singular treasure, told by two leading authorities and replete with ancient images. Our book features the largest-ever authorized reproductions of these priceless maps, both in bound single sheets and pocketed foldout composites. Only from Levenger.
  • Collector’s edition of historic maps
  • Text by John W. Hessler and Chet Van Duzer, the leading authorities on the two maps
  • In partnership with the Library of Congress, which houses the single remaining copies of both the 1507 and 1516 maps
  • The largest ever authorized reproductions of the two maps, in full color
  • Unbound foldouts of each map measure 28” x 49”
  • 24 additional illustrations of other maps and drawings
  • Printed on archival-quality paper
  • Smythe-sewn binding for longevity
  • Linen hardcover with foil stamping
  • Ribbon bookmark
  • 120 pages; 11 x 14
  • 138 endnotes
  • Printed in America
  • Not in the bookstores--only at Levenger

“There is perhaps no better setting for a medieval or Renaissance mystery story than in the Vosges Mountains of northern France. It is in this wooded and densely forested landscape that the Rhine River, beginning its journey as melting snow high in the Swiss Alps, makes its great northern turn, flowing through the ancient medieval towns of Basel and Strasbourg. Here, deep in the mountains that line the river, and that form its great and fertile valley, in the small cathedral town of St.-Di‎é, Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1522) and Matthias Ringmann (1482-1511) conceived of what was to become one of the most famous, sought after, and mysterious maps in the history of cartography, a map that has become known as the ‘Birth Certificate of America’…”

READ MORE of the story—click here: Prologue and Table of Contents
MORE EXCERPTS--click here


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Masterpieces of Renaissance Cartographic Art


from Virginia

Site Member

This is a careful, impressive, affordable, and well-packaged production that should be of interest to anyone curious about the early mapping of the New World, and the works of Martin Waldseemüller and his associates. There are thirty-six well-formatted illustrations within the text, something that will appeal to those interested in the art of Renaissance cartography. The folding map reprints--full-sized facsimiles would be prohibitively large and more expensive--are clear and carefully printed with good resolution of original detail. The text is scholarly, something to be expected from the likes of John Hessler and Chet van Duzer, but still accessible for the well-educated albeit not academically specialized general reader. For those wishing to go further, there are chapter by chapter end-notes. Ralph Ehrenberg, current Chief of the Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, wrote the afterword explaining the significance and detailing bits of the purchase history of these two intellectual cartographic masterpieces for our nation's library.

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