Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: The Mysteries of the "Frenchman's Map" of Williamsburg, Virginia by Alan Simpson

Synopsis: When Rockefeller embarked on the restoration to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, the historians involved quickly hailed the Frenchman's Map as the "Bible of the Restoration". But the map, so valuable for the restoration, was shrouded in mystery. This book explors the Six Unsolved Puzzles of the map: When it was Made, Why it was Made, How it was Made, How it was Used, Who was the Author, and What was the Map's Fate. The book includes multiple illustrations and pictures, and includes many facts, names, and history of how these puzzles were or were not solved.

Review: I live close to Colonial Williamsburg and have an avid interest  in Revolutionary War history. This book was a fascinating addition to my knowledge. The Frenchman's Map is one of the best pieces of evidence of how Colonial Williamsburg was laid out during the War. It's precise, labeled, and detailed - and yet, so little is known about it. Even after extensive research, the only question answered was the date - 1782. The rest remain speculation as best. Simpson does an excellent job of moving the reader through the history of the map - including detailed facts about how the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation studied and explored this map. This is a slim volume, but has a lot of information - including colored pictures of many maps. The prose is complex enough for an adult, but would be manageable for a child if they were a strong reader. I recommend as a fine addition to anyone who enjoys Revolutionary War history.
The Frenchman's Map, 1782
Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-87935-104-7
Date Finished: 10-25-2015
Pages: 42

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