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Theatre of the World: The Maps That Made History


What is a map? How have people been drawing the world throughout history? What do maps say about us? ‘Theatre of the World’ is a unique book detailing the full and incredible history of maps. Thomas Reinertsen Berg takes us all the way from the mysterious symbols of the Stone Age to Google Earth in a fascinating tale about science and worldview, about art and technology, power and ambitions, practical needs and distant dreams of the unknown. Along the way, we encounter visionary geographers and heroic explorers along with the unknown heroes of the map-making world, both ancient and modern.

In stock

Gift Wrap Design

Nordic (£4.00)

Gift Wrap Design

Nordic (£4.00)



‘Fascinating…sumptuously produced with lots of full-colour images, is a kind of potted treasury of cartographical history that gleams with pieces-of-eight-like snippets of information…this is an enthralling book, and joins the likes of Simon Garfield’s On the Map and Jerry Brotton’s A History of the World in Twelve Maps in the field of popular reaffirmations of the ingenuity of geography.’ Travis Elborough, Spectator

‘A fascinating book that I will always treasure.’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes

‘This wonderful book is a reminder of how much careful thought was given to the shape of the world even in ancient times – the landscape, how places are related to one another. I pored over these maps for hours, imagining those minds hard at work, visualising how it all connected as a whole. Just brilliant.’ Neil Oliver

‘Visually stunning…it’s gone straight to the top of my Christmas present list.’ The Bookseller

‘I remember how well I liked to turn the pages of my childhood atlas and travel the world to find out where countries and cities were. But there was never anything about why the maps were created – or who drew them. Theatre of the World was my big chance to tell the stories of all those men and women map makers whose amazing work deserves to be celebrated.’ Thomas Reinertsen Berg

Beautifully illustrated and rich in detail, Theatre of the World reignites our curiosity with the world both ancient and modern.

Before you could just put finger to phone to scroll Google Maps, in advance of the era of digital mapping and globes, maps were being constructed from the ideas and questions of pioneering individuals.

From visionary geographers to heroic explorers, from the mysterious symbols of the Stone Age to the familiar navigation of Google Earth, Thomas Reinertsen Berg examines the fascinating concepts of science and worldview, of art and technology, power and ambitions, practical needs and distant dreams of the unknown.

Additional information

Weight 1.127 kg
Dimensions 24.2 × 18.1 × 3.7 cm






xv, 367




912.09 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K