To sail the oceans needed skill as well as courage and experience, and the sea chart, along with the coastal view, was the tool by which ships of trade, transport or conquest navigated their course.
The Italian merchant-venturers of the early thirteenth century developed the earliest sea charts of the Mediterranean. This then opened the door for European seafarers in the New World, the extraordinary voyages around the Cape of Good Hope and trade to the East, India and the Spice Islands.
By the eighteenth century the discovery and charting of the coasts and oceans of the globe had become a strategic naval and commercial requirement. Such involvements led to Cook's voyages in the Pacific, the search for the Northwest Passage and races to the Arctic and Antarctic.
This new edition features around 40 new charts and accompanying text.