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Mercator
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Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was born at the dawn of the Age of Discovery, when the world was beginning to be discovered and carved up by navigators, geographers and cartographers. Mercator was the greatest and most ingenious cartographer of them all: it was he who coined the word 'atlas' and solved the riddle of converting the three-dimensional globe into a two-dimensional map while retaining true compass bearings. It is Mercator's Projection that NASA are using today to map Mars. How did Mercator reconcile his religious beliefs with a science that would make Christian maps obsolete? How did a man whose imagination roamed continents endure imprisonment by the Inquisition? Crane brings this great man vividly to life, underlying it with colour illustrations of the maps themselves: maps that brought to a rapt public wonders as remarkable as today's cyber-world.
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Trade advertising in weekend supplements and full publicity campaign Nick Crane's two previous books (Clear Waters Rising and Two Degrees West) have both been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, with Clear Waters Rising winning the Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award 'Crane skilfully sets Mercator's life and work in context...[his] account combines the apparatus of scholarly research with a good eye for imaginative detail' Independent 'Crane's job is to engage the reader with this mild-mannered genius, and he does this by colouring in brilliantly the background' Daily Telegraph 'His story of the astonishingly fraught and productive life of Gerard Mercator is compulsive reading' Country Life 'Mercator's story is fascinating...his (Nicholas Crane's) book is a good introduction to the father of modern map making' Economist 'This rich and rewarding biography of the man who changed the way we look at the world...stands at the peak of his achievement' Sunday Times 'Crane's absorbing biography does equal justice to his subject's life, times and scholarly works which, as one would expect, ranged far beyond the realm of geography' Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman

About the Author

Nicholas Crane is a geographer, adventurer and prize-winning writer.

Reviews

In the course of a life that nearly spanned the 16th century, that glorious age of exploration, a Flemish peasant's son, Gerard Mercator, helped shape the modern perception of the planet while seldom venturing beyond the confines of a corner of northwestern Europe. Crane (Clear Waters Rising), a British geographer and adventurer, makes much of Mercator's long life and uses this longevity as an organizing theme of the biography: "surviving for twice as long as many of his contemporaries, he was able to mature through two consecutive life spans." In the first half of his life, the comparatively impetuous Mercator, struggling with his ideals, was imprisoned under the inquisition. In the second, with his passions more focused, he conceived and drew the first modern map using a "projection" that solved certain navigational problems; eventually, he created the first unified compilation of maps of the world, called an atlas. The raw material here is rich: there's the story of a poor boy makes good, explorations into civil and martial turmoil, and the excitement of new discoveries. While Crane sometimes loses track of the main story amid the minutiae of shipping manifests, he does demonstrate a real talent for incorporating letters and documents from diverse sources into very readable prose, as well as teasing Mercator's personality out of sometimes scant or tangential sources. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Alex Hippisley Cox has got some excellent publicity lined up for this, with a big interview with Nick by Alan Franks whch ran in the WEEKEND TIMES on 14 June. Nick's two events for Stanfords, one in their shop in Manchester on 5 June and one in their Bristol shop on 12 June went extremely well. Nick has done interviews on BBC RADIO ESSEX on Friday 6th June, BBC WILTSHIRE SOUND on Monday 9th June, BBC RADIO LEEDS on 5 June, BBC RADIO OXFORD on 12 June, BBC LATE SHOW in the Midlands (across 7 BBC local radio stations) on 6 June, BBC RADIO GUERNSEY on 19 June and BBC RADIO DEVEN on 26 June. The reviews we've received so far have been excellent: "A beautifully detailed picture of the dangerous but intellectually exciting times in which his subject lived"SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "Book of the Week. Nicholas Crane's new book Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet tells how Gerard Mercator, born in 1512 and son of a cobbler,became a founding father of modern geography."DAILY EXPRESS "A portrait not only of a remarkable man but also of the 16th-century world of scholarship and cartography." SUNDAY TIMES 'A colourful biography which tells the story of a cobbler's son, orphaned in his teens, who escaped the Inquisition and began

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