176. Cassell & Co. / Rivers of Britain 1897

Cassell's ventures in cartography began with the purchase of the Weekly Dispatch plates (136). Cassell's also started a series of county maps, c.1872, which was never completed, produced railway guides (see 165) as well as producing a gazetteer with maps taken from plates produced by W & A K Johnston: Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - containing 25 regional maps of England and Wales, 16 of Scotland, and 8 of Ireland, 1893-8. This also included maps of cities and islands. One further venture was an attempt to produce an English version of the standard world atlas of the day, Andrees Allgemeiner Handatlas. This was issued as the Universal Atlas but was not immediately successful, later it was revised and eventually became The Times Atlas (1895-96).1

One of the more unusual maps of Devon is to be found in Cassell's series The Rivers of Great Britain. This was issued 1891-1897 and contained maps within the text. The Rivers of Great Britain was the general title for a series of three volumes: The Royal River: The Thames from Source to Sea (Volume I, appeared in 1891); Rivers of the East Coast(which was Volume II Part I, 1892); and the map of Devon was in The Rivers of the South and West Coasts (Volume II Part II). This final volume of the series did not appear until 1897. All three volumes (in one volume) were re-issued in 1902. The map of Devon was not amended.

Although the first two volumes in the series also contained maps, none of these were county maps. Usually the attention was on rivers and hence the maps were area and not county maps, for example the Rivers of Lancashire and Lakeland (in Volume III). The third volume covered an area from Kent and Surrey along the south coast and then the whole of the west coast to Ayrshire and the Clyde but also included rivers such as the Avon, Wye and Usk. Only this third volume has county maps and only Devon and Cornwall have an individual map – the others show two counties together for example Hants with Dorset and Kent with Surrey.

Each section of the guide was written by a different author. The writer of the chapter on Devon was W W Hutchings and this chapter included a small map embedded in the text on p. 26. The map of Devon is very simple: the sea is shaded, railways are shown together with towns and rivers and while hills have been carefully hachured to show their situation, roads have not been included.

W W Hutchings also wrote London Town, Past and Present, 1909.

Size: 104 x 102 mm.                                                                                                                                             English Miles (15 = 19 mm).

THE RIVERS OF DEVON (CeOS) with no imprints or signature.

1.  1897 The Rivers of Great Britain. The Rivers of the South and West Coasts  
    London, Paris & Melbourne. Cassell & Co. 1897. BL, KB.

[1] Nowell-Smith; 1958; p. 168.