A fine 1799 map of France divided into Metropolitan Circles and Departments by the English map publisher Clement Cruttwell. The French Department system was established on March 4th, 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure. They were designed to deliberately break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Initially there were 83 departments but by 1800 that number increased to rougly 130. Many of the departments that were created in 1790 remain the administrative distircts to this day. Lists the Metropolitan Circles in the upper left quadrant. These include the Circle of Paris, Circle of the North East, the East, South East, Coasts of the Mediterranean, South, South West, North West, and Centre. An legend of symbols appears in the lower left quadrant. Includes rivers, political boundaries, important cities, ports and gulfs. Mountains and other topographical features shown by profile. Outline color and fine copper plate engraving in the minimalist English style prevalent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Drawn by Clement Cruttwell and published in the 1799 Atlas to Cruttwell's Gazetteer.
Clement Cruttwell (1743 - August 5, 1808) was an English book and map publisher active in Bath and London in the late 18th and early 19th century. Cruttwell was born the son of William Cruttwell, a gentleman of Wokingham, Berkshire, England. As a young man Cruttwell was educated to be an Anglican Reverend and consequently maintained a lifelong interest in religious matters. Throughout his life, he published a number of religious works and geographical gazetteers including several focused on the British Isles and one dedicated to France. Though little is known of Cruttwell today, he was highly regarded in his own time. In his obituary, a period publication, The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure describes Cruttwell as
a gentleman whose various literary performances, for labour, extent, and utility, have rarely been equaled, and, when regarded as the productions of an unassisted valetudinarian, have perhaps never been surpassed.
Cruttwell was also a known correspondent of George Washington to whom he sent his own translation of the Holy Bible, which Washington kept in his personal library until his death.
Cruttwell, C., Atlas to Cruttwell's Gazetteer, 1799.
Very good. Original centerfold. Platemark visible. Some offsetting. Moderate overall toning. Blank on verso.