The hand-drawn map

Now-a-days we use satnavs to plan our routes for traveling and take pictures for memory. Previously, we used atlases and street directories and again took pictures and possibly a diary. I came across a hand drawn map a while back which was drawn by someone who was touring a part of northwestern France.

Hand-drawn map of Northwest France – St. Malory to Vannes

The map displays the area from St. Malo to Vannes in the region of Brittany. It is hand drawn with major cities and towns, thoroughfares, lakes and rivers marked. As well, there are numerous notations in pen stating what highlights were seen throughputthe area. This is impressive enough but when we turn over the sheet we see close up of the bay area around Vannes.

Hand drawn map of Vannes area ((The Little Sea) on verso

One certainly cannot claim this side or the previous to be amazing cartography. There seems to be some scaling problems and inaccuracy in its’ depiction. But you do get the overall effect.

The maps are not signed so the artist is a mystery but we do get a clue as to the age of this work from the verso image. On the right hand side, we read a notation regarding the Roche-Bernard suspension bridge and that it was damaged in a storm the previous year. The bridge was erected in 1839 and destroyed in 1852. This would mean that this map was drawn in 1853 the year after the damage.

I wonder how many of us would go to such lengths to remember a trip. But then again, maybe we would have had we lived back then.

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