— Neil Kennedy ― Global Maritime History
An excellently written and painstakingly researched account of a handful of the earliest large-scale maps of the Americas, beginning with Juan de la Cosa and ending with Waldseemüller. Metcalf also pays a great deal of attention to the mechanical process of making these maps.
— Patricia Seed, University of California, Irvine, author of The Oxford Map Companion: One Hundred Sources in World History
Metcalf references a remarkable array of manuscript and printed maps and charts to advance a provocative argument: by depicting the Atlantic Ocean as a place of opportunity and exploitation, these artifacts both explained Europeans’ rapid interest in the western Atlantic and created the Atlantic World. An original approach and interpretation, sure to interest readers in diverse fields.
— Alison Games, Georgetown University, author of Inventing the English Massacre: Amboyna in History and Memory
Carefully following the craft of manuscript chart-makers and print-makers of maps, Metcalf brilliantly demonstrates that when European world maps were radically and suddenly decentered circa 1500, it was artisans, not emperors, missionaries, or conquistadors, who established the conventions of how to represent continents and new peoples for centuries to come.
— Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, University of Texas at Austin, author of Nature, Empire, And Nation: Explorations of the History of Science in the Iberian World
In this erudite and deeply researched volume, Alida Metcalf probes how the Atlantic Ocean became central to the production of maps, forerunners of the integrated Atlantic world brought about by European expansion. By meticulously reconstructing circuits of knowledge and networks of individuals, this book makes a major contribution to multiple fields of historical inquiry.
— Roquinaldo Ferreira, University of Pennsylvania, author of Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade
In this wonderful book, richly detailed yet concise and clear, Dr. Alida Metcalf examines the rapid accumulation of European knowledge about the Atlantic World during roughly the decade on either side of the year 1500.
The extensive notes and bibliography of maps and images, historical events, and modern sources reflect the depth of the author’s study and are rich resources for further investigation.
— Gregory McIntosh, University of Lisbon ― IMCOS Journal
Mapping an Atlantic World, Circa 1500 is a light and entertaining read, especially for those who are not familiar with the cartographic history of the Renaissance.
— Jörn Seemann, Ball State University ― Cartographic Perspectives
The book is well written, and it is clear that the author has a strong grasp of the material.
— Richard Pflederer, author of Finding their Way at Sea and the Commentary ― The Portolan
How did intricately detailed sixteenth-century maps reveal the start of the Atlantic World?
About the Author
Alida C. Metcalf is the Harris Masterson, Jr. Professor of History at Rice University. A codeveloper of imagineRio, the digital atlas of Rio de Janeiro, she is the author of Family and Frontier in Colonial Brazil: Santana de Parnaíba, 1580–1822 and Go-betweens and the Colonization of Brazil: 1500–1600.