Image of England in the
Geographic Fun Atlas

Geographical Fun: Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries, published by Hodder and Stoughton in London in 1869, was a singlularly unique atlas undertaking. The atlas is comprised of twelve maps – one for each of twelve European countries. The maps were designed as stereotypical images of each country at the time based on the outline and the shape of the country – similiar to how caricature artists work at modern fairs and festivals. Each map has a verse written about the creation.

In the introduction to the atlas, the author, William Harvey, described his intention in creating the atlas: “It is believed that illustrations of Geography may be rendered educational, and prove of service to young Scholars who commonly think Globes and Maps but wearisome aids to knowledge. If these geographical puzzles excite the mirth of children, the amusement of the moment may lead to the profitable curiosity of youthful students and embue the mind with a healthful taste for foreign lands.”

You will find a variety of countries and images represented in the Geographic
Fun Atlas
, including:

  • Egnland in the shape of Queen Victoria
  • Scotland as a poper travelling through the Scottish bogs
  • Ireland as a happy peasant
  • France as an empress of the arts – cooking, fashions and dance
  • Italy as a revolutionary figure
  • Russia as a classic Russian bear
  • Denmark as a female figure skater
  • and several more fascinating images.

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