Terry Jones & the Great Map Mystery

This is a four part BBC2 series on John Ogleby’s Britannia (1675), which Terry describes as the world’s first road atlas. There are of course earlier road maps, but I think Terry names it this way because it has a lot of roads (all in the UK) and they were published as a lovely huge hardback book. Terry tries to find four of the maps in the atlas, namely the ones in Wales, and comes across a mystery. The very first map is of a cattle drover’s trail. The second goes to a cathedral in poor repair, and the third goes to a Catholic shrine in a time when Catholicism was illegal. The series is amusing, and turns up a very interesting plot to take over England at the same time. For gamers, it demonstrates what early “roads” might be like, including the beach one has to cross at low tide. By the way, I also happen to be reading Oscar Winther’s Express and Stagecoach Days in California (1936), which I’m also enjoying. I’m preparing to teach a course this fall in History of the Trans-Mississippi West, and one of the things I’ve learned along the way is that narrow passes not only made great ambush points; they were also very helpful in counting the number of animals in one’s herd.

About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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