The Maps of John Speed.

John Speed's collection of maps was published in 1611 as The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine: presenting an exact geography of the kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the iles adioyning: with the shires, hundreds, cities and shire-townes, within ye kingdome of England. It is now available online at a website created by Dr. Maryanne Cline Horowitz of Occidental College. This is an extremely valuable resource for literary scholars and historians and simply a beautiful and instructive site to visit for anyone interested in late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Britain -- Shakespeare's world. I am particularly fond of Speed's depiction of cities, like this amazing map of "Bathe."

I'm friends with John Speed's great-great-great-great-granddaughter (or thereabouts). She hasn't inherited any particular cartographical aptitude, but she did snog me when I was 13, so it all balances out.
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