A delightful work of geographical fantasy, this is Dion Clayton Calthrop and Gilbert Anthony Pownall's 1824 Traveler's Joy: A Device
. The fantasy atlas takes readers on a tour of imagined places, succinctly described by Calthrop to leave room for interpretation and gorgeously illustrated by Pownall.
A Closer Look
The book is a playful and distinctive combination of influences from children's literature, fantasy, and cartography. Using an attractively simple layout, each map is introduced with an explanation by Calthrop on the opposite page. The eight maps are:
Explorers Country - reminiscent of contemporary British maps of Africa and Australia that appeared in publications like the Royal Geographical Society's The Geographical Journal, it traces the routes of one J.W. Smith. The Railway Map - a fun riff on British placenames (the industrial cities of Grindwich and Squallorbury, along with the sleepy country town of Comfort-on-the-snooze) Redindiana - a mishmash of European perceptions (and misperceptions) of America. Pirate Island - equal parts privateering and Peter Pan's NeverlandFairyland - a grab bag of fantasy tropes, including princes and princesses, a fairy godmother, goblins, dwarves, witches, sea serpents, dragons, gryphons, and even Santa Claus! The Forty Isles - another humorous play on earlier maps, similar to those done by nautical explorers like Captain James Cook, with cursory and often cryptic notes. The Market Town - resembling maps of a typical British country town. The Broad Highway - similar to early British road maps by the likes of John Ogilby and Emanuel Bowen
Publication History and Census
The text of Traveler's Joy
was written by Dion Clayton Calthrop, the illustrations were by Gilbert Anthony Pownall, and the book was published in London by William Heinemann in 1924 (with an American edition the same year by Alfred A. Knopf). The print run was apparently quite limited, and only twelve institutions on either side of the Atlantic are listed as holding a physical copy of the book in the OCLC. Both the individual maps and the entire book are quite scarce to the market.
Gilbert Anthony Pownall (January 17, 1877 – October 20, 1960) was a British illustrator best known for his portraits and figure paintings. He also drew several colorful maps for the fantasy geography book Traveler's Joy, written by Dion Clayton Calthrop. Learn More...
Good. Foxing on some pages, not impeding the illustrations.