NO LONGER ON THE MAP: A Tour of Fabulous Places by Raymond H. Ramsay

NO LONGER ON THE MAP: A Tour of Fabulous Places

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This is a little less fabulous than the lands themselves, but more substantial in most cases since Ramsay's main concern is with the evolution and historical influence of geographic legends -- at least those whose mythic presence was sufficient to get them registered on maps. His effort is a fairly comfortable blend of history, myth, philosophy and anthropology, with interlardings of plain common sense and generous displays of the cartographic evidence. This last makes slow going at times for readers used to the genre's freer-wheeling flights; and they'll probably be disappointed by the exclusion of Atlantis (it went down, assuming it was ever there, a couple of millenia too early for the classical mapmakers) and by Ramsay's skepticism about pre-Columbian tourism in America. If Greenland and the Northwest Passage seem mundane in contrast, however, there are still curious vistas, e.g., that the fabled Terra Incognita originated from logical calculations of Greco-Roman geographers.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1972
Publisher: Viking