Poly-Olbion (Stafford Shyre/ Shropshyre)
Author: Drayton, Michael
Publisher: Poly-Olbion or Chorographical Description of all the Tracts, Rivers, Mountains, Forests and other Parts of the Renowned Isle of Great Britain.
Date published: 1612Copper engraving with later hand colouring. Engraved by William Hole. Overall size : 34.7cms.x 28.4cms. Image size : 335mm.x 255mm. Central crease as issued; watermarked paper; three repaired nicks top margin on verso and remargined bottom margin with old paper to facilitate mounting and framing; one small 1.5cms patch of thinness when held up to the light else good dark impression in very good condition. Uncommon map. Born at Hartshill in Warwickshire, Michael Drayton, a friend of Shakespeare, was primarily a poet and in 1612 published his major work : 'Poly-Olbion or Chorographical Description of all the Tracts, Rivers, Mountains, Forests and other parts of the Renowned Isle of Great Britain'. This work consisted of a collection of songs together with 18 maps (a second edition was published with an additional 12 maps) engraved by William Hole. While these maps are of various regions they could not be said to be accurate, being more inclined to fantasy rather than geography. The main features of the maps are the rivers and tributaries which are populated with nymphs and deities. Shepherds stand atop hills and towns and cities are symbolised by elaborately dressed figures with castles or spires on their heads. So, while they may not be terribly useful as maps they are certainly very attractive and entertaining.