The human figure depiction of the maps of European countries started in 1869 with an aim of creating such a vital study of geography that provoke laughter and not boring for young people. It was made into an atlas by the company Hodder and Stoughton, London published with the title “Geographical Fun: Being Humorous Outlines of Various Countries.”
The author of the map, William Harvey, introduces these 12 maps under the pseudonym “Aleph“. The portrait illustration that was produced came with a short poem of four verses about each country, which were: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal, Italy, Prussia, Germany, Holland and Belgium, Denmark and Russia. The idea behind the maps was taken from sketches drawn by Lillian Lancaster, a 15-year old girl born in 1852 in London and who was trying to amuse her sick brother confined to bed.
Here’s an enjoyable way to demonstrate the map and recognize each country. Let’s pause for a moment of curiosity.
ENGLAND as Queen VictoriaVERSE: Beautiful England, – on her Island throne, – Grandly she rules, – with half the world her own; From her vast empire the sun ne’er departs; She reigns a Queen – Victoria, Queen of Hearts.
SCOTLAND as a gallant piperVERSE: A gallant piper, struggling through the bogs. His wind bag broken, wearing his clay clogs: Yet, strong of heart, a fitting emblem makes. For Scotland – land of heroes and of cakes.
WALES as Owen GlendowrVERSE: Geography bewitch’d – Owen Glendowr, In Bardic grandeur, looks from shore to shore, And sings King Arthur’s long, long pedigree, And cheese and leeks, and knights of high degree.
IRELAND as a peasant womanVERSE: And what shall typify the Emerald Isle? A Peasant, happy in her baby’s smile? No fortune her’s, – though rich in native grace, – Herrings, potatoes, and a joyous face.
FRANCE a hook-nosed ladyVERSE: A hook-nosed lady represents fair France, Empress of cooks, of fashions, and the dance. Her flatt’ring glass declares that vict’ry, power. Beauty, wealth, arts, are her imperial dower.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL in an ‘eternal’ unionVERSE: These long divided nations soon may be, By Prims’ grace, joined in lasting amity. And ladies fair – if King Fernando rules, Grow grapes in peace, and fatten their pet mules.
ITALY as a modern day chieftainVERSE: Thou model chieftain – born in modern days – Well may thy gallant acts claim classic praise. Uncompromising friend of liberty! Thy Photograph ennobles Italy!
PRUSSIA as King Friedrich Wilhelm and Chancellor BismarckVERSE: His Majesty of Prussia – grim and old – Sadowa’s King – by needle guns made bold; With Bismark of the royal conscience, keeper, In dreams political none wiser – deeper.
GERMANY as a dancing ladyVERSE: Lo! studios Germany, in her delight, At coming glories, shewn by second sight, And on her visioned future proudly glancing, Her joy expresses by a lady dancing.
HOLLAND AND BELGIUM as a pair of ladiesVERSE: 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.
DENMARK as a female ice skaterVERSE: For Shakespeare’s Prince, and the Princess of Wales, To England dear. Her royal spirit quails; From skating faint, she rests upon the snow; Shrinking from unclean beasts that grin below.
RUSSIA as a bearVERSE: Peter, and Catherine, and Alexander, Mad Paul, and Nicolas, poor shadows wander Out in the cold; while Emperor A. the Second In Eagles, Priests, and Bears supreme is reckoned.
Read more: http://weddingphotography.com.ph/5284/12-illustrative-portraits-political-geography-europe/#ixzz1MbZBFyoU