By Michael Blanding
The tale of an notorious crime, a respected map broker with an unsavory mystery, and the ruthless culture that fed on him
Maps have lengthy exerted a unique fascination on viewers—both as attractive artworks and as useful instruments to navigate the area. yet to those that acquire them, the map alternate could be a cutthroat enterprise, inhabited via quirky and infrequently disreputable characters looking for a finite variety of super infrequent objects.
Once thought of a good antiquarian map broker, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief —until he was once eventually arrested slipping maps out of books within the Yale collage library. The Map Thief delves into the untold historical past of this interesting high-stakes felony and the interior tale of the that ate up him.
Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all of the key avid gamers during this stranger-than-fiction tale, and stocks the interesting histories of maps that charted the recent international, and the way they went from being functional tools to quirky heirlooms to hugely coveted items. notwithstanding items of the map robbery tale were written ahead of, Blanding is the 1st reporter to discover the tale in full—and had the infrequent privilege of getting entry to Smiley himself after he’d long gone silent within the wake of his crimes. furthermore, even supposing Smiley swears he has admitted to the entire maps he stole, libraries declare he stole thousands more—and provide fascinating clues to end up it. Now, via a chain of specific interviews with Smiley and different key members, Blanding teases out an incredible story of destruction and redemption.
The Map Thief interweaves Smiley’s escapades with the tales of the explorers and mapmakers he knew greater than somebody. monitoring a chain of thefts as brazen because the paintings heists in Provenance and a way of life as obsessive because the oenophiles in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Blanding has pieced jointly an unforgettable tale of high-stakes crime.
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Additional info for The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps
Yale/M lacking 1720 Johann Baptista Homann and Ludovico Hennepin Amplissimae Regionis Mississippi seu Provinciae Ludovicianae Yale/M lacking 1720 Tobias Conrad Lotter Pensylvania, Nova Jersey, et Nova York cum Regionibus ed Fluvium Delaware Yale/M lacking 1730 Guillaume De L’Isle Antilles Françoises et des Isles Voisines (French Antilles) Yale/M lacking 1735 Guillaume De L’Isle Carte de los angeles Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi Yale/M lacking 1737 John vendor New and actual Chart Shewing the differences of the Compass within the Western & Southern Oceans Boston/M lacking 1737 John vendor New and proper Chart of North a part of the United States from New stumbled on Land to Hudsons Bay Boston/M lacking 1737 John Warner A Survey of the Northern Neck of Virginia Yale/M lacking 1739 B. Roberts & W. H. Toms The Ichnography of Charles-Town at excessive Water Yale/M lacking 1740 Carington Bowles A Map of the main Inhabited a part of New England Yale/M lacking 1745 Louis Renard (Joshua Ottens) Nova et Accruatissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula (World) (Plate 1) New York/M lacking 1745 Louis Renard (Joshua Ottens) Nova & Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula Nautica Variationum Magneticarum New York/M lacking 1745 Louis Renard (Joshua Ottens) Terra Neuf (New global) (Plate 30) New York/M lacking 1748 Matthaeus Seutter Pensylvania Nova Jersey et Nova York cum Regionibus advert Fluvium Delaware Yale/M lacking 1748 Samuel Thornton A Generall Chart of the South Sea from the River of Plate to Dampiers Streights on Ye Coast of recent Guinea Yale/M lacking 1750 Jacques Nicolas Bellin Carte de los angeles Louisiane et des can pay Voisins Yale/M lacking 1750 Cyprian Southack A Map of the Coast of recent England, from Staten Island to the Island of Breton Yale/M lacking 1750 Gerard Van Keulen Carte de l. a. Nouvelle France Ou se Voit le Cours des Grandes Rivieres Yale/M lacking 1754 Emanuel Bowen A Map of the British American Plantations Yale/M lacking 1755 Lewis Evans A basic Map of the center British Colonies, in the USA Boston/B lacking 1759 Johann Baptiste Homann Amplissimae Regionis Mississipi Seu Provinciae Ludovicianae Yale/M lacking 1761 Thomas Jefferys a correct Map of His Majesty’s Province of New-Hampshire in New England New York/M lacking 1768 George Heap and Nicholas Scull East Prospect of the town of Philadelphia Boston/M lacking 1770 Tomás Lopez de Vargas Machuca Mapa de Africa Boston/M lacking 1773 James cook dinner A Map of the Province of South Carolina Yale/M lacking 1774 Thomas Jefferys and Braddock Mead A Map of the main Inhabited a part of New England Yale/M lacking 1775 Thomas Jefferys and William Faden comic strip of the motion among the British Forces and American Provincials, at the Heights of the Peninsula of Charlestown Yale/M lacking 1775 Henry Mouzon North and South Carolina with Their Indian Frontiers Yale/M lacking 1775 Bernard Ratzer Plan of town of recent York Yale/M lacking 1775 Bernard Ratzer Plan of town of recent York in North the US New York/M lacking 1775 Bernard Romans Map of the Seat of Civil conflict in the USA (Massachusetts) Yale/M lacking 1775 William Scull Map of the Province of Pennsylvania Yale/M lacking 1776 William Faden A Plan of the motion at Bunkers Hill (Plate eleven) New York/M lacking 1777 Jean de Beaurain Amerique Septle.