Mapping the Georgian world: global power and maps in the reign of George III

9 October 2017

The Hanoverian British monarchy presided over a vast array of dominions spread across the globe, each presenting its own challenges to those who needed either to understand or to govern and exploit the different regions. Maps came to play a crucial role in confronting those challenges, transferring knowledge and opportunities across considerable distances, not least to those who never traversed them themselves. One such person was King George III – a monarch who, though in many respects defined in his reign by his relations with both North America and Europe, was unusual amongst his contemporary rulers in never leaving his own kingdom (and even England) at any point in his reign. Yet George had a keen interest in his dominions, and this found expression not least in his interest in maps, of which he became an avid collector and a patron to mapmakers.
This panel brings together Peter Barber, the leading authority on George III’s map collection and former head of the Map Collection at the British Library, and Dr Max Edelson, a leading authority on the mapping of colonial America and a pioneer of its digital interpretation, to discuss the place of maps in the exercise of rule and authority in the eighteenth century.
These richly illustrated talks will provide a fascinating opportunity to reflect on the significance of these often beautiful and intricate objects in shrinking distance and creating understanding in the age of Enlightenment.
For details and registration go to: The talks take place on Monday 9th October, 18:30 to 20:00 at King’s College, London.

Picture credit: Allan Ramsey: King George III in coronation robes (Wikipedia)