SEPTEMBER 2014: The Land of Heart’s Delight a finalist for the Victoria Book Prize — Details here

APRIL 2014: The BC Historical Federation awards second place prize to The Land of Heart’s Delight in its annual Historical Writing Competition — Details here

MARCH 2014: The Land of Heart’s Delight shortlisted for BC Book Prizes — Details here
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Maps move us, ground us, and open a window into the era in which they were produced. With the oldest known maps dating back twenty-five thousand years, it is evident they have long been part of our collective history. But who creates them, and why, is key to understanding how they are meant to be read. The Land of Heart’s Delight is an informative and fascinating compilation of the early maps of Vancouver Island, and the stories behind their creation.

When Captain George Vancouver first came upon the island that would later be named for him, he wrote that it was “the most lovely country that can be imagined.” In this book, learn how and why Vancouver Island came to be mapped by generations of mapmakers. This is a remarkable cartographic history of a rich and thriving region, with 120 maps and charts – from hand-drawn notes to detailed cartographic works of art – dating between 1566 and 1914. However, the maps, by themselves and without context, cannot tell the whole story. The accompanying text reveals the motives, constraints, agendas, and intrigues that underpin their making, and mark the progress in our knowledge of the island’s rich recorded history of European settlement.

The narrative, roughly chronological, begins before the arrival of Europeans and concludes at the outset of the First World War. It includes an introduction to the history and significance of map-making, as well as an afterword summarizing subsequent cartographic developments. Also included are an index, endnotes, a list of cartographic sources, and a glossary.

The author gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the British Columbia Arts Council, for a grant through their Project Assistance for Creative Writers.

Michael Layland

Author Michael Layland

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The Land of Heart’s Delight
Early maps and charts of Vancouver Island
by Michael Layland, 2013
published by Touchwood Editions
10 x 9.4 inches
240 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-1-77151-015-8
CDN $39.95