This beautiful book is a lavishly illustrated look at the most important atlases in history and the cartographers who made them. Atlases are books that changed the course of history. Pored over by rulers, explorers and adventures these books were used to build empires, wage wars, encourage diplomacy and nurture trade. Written by Philip Parker, an authority on the history of maps, this book brings these fascinating artefacts to life, offering a unique, lavishly illustrated guide to the history of these incredible books and the cartographers behind them. All key cartographic works from the last half-millennium are covered, including:

- The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, considered the world's first atlas and produced in 1570 by the Dutch, geographer Abraham Ortelius.
- The 17th-century Klencke - one of the world's largest books that requires 6 people to carry it
- The Rand McNally Atlas of 1881, still in print today and a book that turned its makers, William H Rand and Andrew McNally into cartographic royalty.