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The British Library
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The national Library of the United Kingdom
The national Library of the United Kingdom

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What do you notice about these maps? Part of Benjamin Hennig’s ‘Anthropocene world’ collection, they show a view of the world at the beginning of the 21st century.

Blending spatial data with population data, these digital maps are known as ‘gridded cartograms’. Each cell on the map represents an equal geographic area that is then resized in line with its total population according to an algorithm.

You can see the extent of globalisation and how the world is connected through lines representing shipping routes (white), roads (green), railways (orange) and pipelines (red).

Explore the changes in mapping perspectives during the 20th century with our #BLMaps website http://bit.ly/2lPeIKc
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17/02/2017
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At the age of 16, Jane Austen wrote a spoof History of England which mimics the history books she read as a child. She provides a comic account of England from Henry IV to Charles I as told by ‘a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant historian’.

The narrator can be seen to be frequently distracted by his or her opinions of the events and people being described. A note on the bottom of the first page also marks out the tone of the tale: ‘N.B. There will be very few Dates in this history’.

Austen's History of England, together with her other teenage writings, can now be seen in a special display in our Treasures Gallery. Jane Austen Among Family and Friends is open until 19 February http://bit.ly/2kS9gII

#BLTreasures

Photo: Tony Antoniou
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Capturing the optimism of the early months of World War I, this competition map appeared in the Financial Times in 1914.

Players were invited to redraw the boundaries of Europe, guessing what they would look like at the end of the war. The entry which most closely reflected the eventual state of Europe would receive a prize of £25.

The wars that took place in the 20th century saw a great increase in the use of maps by the military, as well as a spike in public interest. See crucial maps created during wartime at our Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line exhibition. http://bit.ly/2kjpz0g

#BLMaps
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Hurry! Only one month left to chart the power, presence and enduring appeal of maps with us.

Our Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line exhibition closes on 1 March.

Book now http://bit.ly/2kQhjXg #BLMaps
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For #NationalHandwritingDay, here's the opening of Jane Austen’s story Catharine or the Bower, written when she was a teenager. http://bit.ly/2jdPwy1

See this and more of her writings at our Jane Austen Among Family and Friends display.
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Do you know what a herbal is? It's a book of plants describing their appearance, their properties and how they may be used for preparing ointments and medicines.

Elizabeth Blackwell's A Curious Herbal is notable for its beautiful illustrations of medicinal plants. It was an unprecedented artistic, scientific and commercial enterprise for a woman of her time. Blackwell drew, engraved and coloured the illustrations herself, a great accomplishment that would usually have taken at least three different artists and craftsmen. See more of this beautiful work: bit.ly/2jrBZjD
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This year marks the bicentenary of the death of Jane Austen. In a free display that opens today, three remarkable manuscripts of her teenage writings are brought together for the first time in 40 years, including a special loan from the Bodleian Library.

Austen’s treasured notebooks contain stories and poems she wrote to entertain her family and close friends and are accompanied by other items showing her strong family and social networks. See this display in our Treasures Gallery. Ends 19 February 2017. http://bit.ly/2iflXvk

Photos: Tony Antoniou
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10/01/2017
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'Would you not like to try all sorts of lives - one is so very small - but that is the satisfaction of writing - one can impersonate so many people.'

Katherine Mansfield died #onthisday in 1923. One of the most highly regarded short story writers of the 20th century, she helped re-define the genre and was considered a pioneer of the modern short story.

#DiscoverLiterature and explore close readings of three stories from Mansfield’s celebrated collection, The Garden Party and Other Stories. http://bit.ly/2iZSu9T
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Artist Gustave Doré, born #onthisday in 1832, teamed up with journalist Blanchard Jerrold to produce an illustrated record of the ‘shadows and sunlight’ of London.

Contemporary critics had severe reservations about their book: Doré disliked sketching in public so there were many errors of detail; it showed only the extremes of society, and Jerrold’s text was superficial. Despite these criticisms, Doré’s work has become celebrated for its dramatic use of light and shade, and the power of his images to capture the atmosphere of mid-Victorian London.

This illustration shows Billingsgate Market in the early morning. Explore more of his illustrations: http://bit.ly/2iA3DO4
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It's #NationalBirdDay in the US. These snowy owls are from Audubon's Birds Of America. Originally published between 1827 and 1838, John Jame's Audubon's four-volume book features 435 hand-coloured, life-size prints. http://bit.ly/2hRzjxC
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