"Holland and Belgium", Aleph
Subject: Cartographic Miscellany
Period: 1869 (published)
Publication: Geographical Fun, Humorous Outlines of Various Countries
Color: Printed Color
8 x 9.5 inches
20.3 x 24.1 cm
Satirical political maps appear throughout cartographic history and gained popularity in the latter part of the nineteenth century. This is one in a series of twelve maps of Europe that depicted the political geography in human form. The idea for the maps originated from a young girl's drawings made to amuse her sick brother. Aleph, the pseudonym for William Harvey, compiled the map and wrote the verses that accompany them. According to his introduction, the illustrations were meant as a humorous, educational aid in the study of geography, rather than the political satire they became. Harvey's publication first appeared in 1869, published by Hodder & Stoughton with the maps printed by the firm of Vincent, Brooks, Day & Son. This rare humorous chromolithograph of Holland and Belgium depicts Dame Holland holding Master Belgium in her arms. Master Belgium sports long hair and a dress, while smoking a cigar. Below the map is the verse:
"Dame Holland, trick'd out in her gala clothes,
And Master Belgium, with a punchy nose;
Seem on the map to represent a land,
By patriot worth, and perfect art made grand.
References: Manasek #115; Slowther (Map Collector 16), p. 48.