Times Books: The Times Atlas of European History

Times Books, (part of HarperCollins Publishers) published The Times Atlas of European History in 1994. The second edition appeared in 1997. A third, paperback edition was published in 2001, titled The Times History of Europe. (The plan for a much augmented new edition, although I progressed with it well, was aborted).

The conception and compilation of the maps of this atlas were entirely my work, barring some minor modifications concerning archaeology in the second edition. The editor of the atlas, Thomas Cussans, turned to me with the basic idea in late 1991. Initially I worked out a plan as to what to include, defining dates (chosen mainly on the merit of considerations of historical geography) and the themes to be shown. The publishers provided me with simple outline maps, containing only coastal and river lines, so as to serve as the basis for the addition of historical details that I was to include. I subsequently compiled not only the 46 main map spreads, each representing a political map of Europe at the respective date, but also a further 46 spreads that each carried three or four smaller area maps on average. These spreads, each located between two spreads that showed the situation of the continent at different dates, dealt with the process of the changes that took place between those dates, in detail. The net result was an atlas that comprehensively disentangled the complexity of the changes that happened during the entire course of the history of Europe. Exceptionally, maps on the religious and ethnic make-up of certain ages and areas were also shown. The accompanying texts were written by academic historians. In many instances, however, I needed to reword these to a varying extent, so as to correct inaccuracies that I had identified. Editor Philip Parker helped with these rewordings when their English contained idiosyncrasies. Cartography was by Bartholomew, HarperCollins’s cartographers in Edinburgh.