Albion's Glorious Ile
Hand-colouring books from the Songs of Poly-Olbion
- Paperback (BC)
- 01 Jul 2016
- Unicorn Press
This beautifully-produced colouring book presents a collection of thirty county maps of England and Wales. The maps were produced in the early 17th century by the cartographic engraver William Hole to accompany the vast landscape poem Poly-Olbion by Michael Drayton, one of the most famous poets of his age. Arguably the strangest maps of Britain ever designed, they depict the familiar rolling countryside as a playful fairyland, bustling with otherworldly beings. Every topographical feature is anthropomorphised, a form of depiction known as prosopopeia: hills are represented as stout country gentlemen, rivers as water nymphs, forests as elegant huntresses. The poetry and maps of Poly-Olbion came out of the Renaissance vogue for chorography, the art of describing place, and together they provide one of the most detailed overviews of the rich landscape, history, and legends of Early Modern England and Wales. This is a colouring book to keep and treasure as a complex, endlessly rewarding work of art.
Anne Louise Avery is an art historian and director of Flash of Splendour. Recently, she directed the Children’s Poly-Olbion project, which introduced children to Michael Drayton’s poetry and William Hole’s cartography, culminating in an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society and in the creation of Albion’s Glorious Ile. Hazel Dexteris a graphic designer, trained at Central Saint Martins and The Royal College of Art. She has worked with numerous high-profile clients, including the Saatchi Gallery, Camberwell College of Art, the Haywood Gallery, Prada and Miu Miu. She is also the co-owner of Objects of Use.